Yenice, Z.; Soltwedel, O.; Genzer, J.; von Klitzing, R.; Köhler, R.: Polyelectrolyte brushes: Swelling in water and incorporation of nanoparticles. In: Annual Report 2012 / Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum (MLZ). Garching, 2013, p. 79-80
Polyelectrolyte (PE) brushes representa new class of thin fim materials with tunable surface parameters and interactions, and stimuli responsive behavior. This allows for instance functionalization, or incorporation and exchange of solvents or particles. Neutron reflctivity (NR) was used to determine, fist, the structure of these fims, either in dry, collapsed state or fully extended, when swollen in buffer. Secondly, the penetration and the distribution of gold nanoparticles (Au-NP) in these brushes were investigated. Although still in its early stage, the study provides qualitatively interesting results. It shows a relatively homogeneous fim thickness, i.e. distribution of the brush length, compared to other preparation techniques. It proved that nanoparticles can be incorporated into the PEbrushes irrespective of the size of the Au-NP and the length of the brush. In this case, the brush undergoes a thickness reduction.