Immobilization of metal nanoparticles on polyurethane membranes: synthesis and electrical properties


Sonal Thakore, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, M. S. University of Baroda, Vadodara, India. E-mail:


Ag and Cu nanoparticles were immobilized into crosslinked polyurethane (PU) membranes by taking advantage of the swelling characteristics of the membranes. The formation, shape and size of the nanoparticles inside the post-swollen PU membranes were observed by transmission electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. X-ray diffraction indicated the presence of the pure Ag and Cu embedded in the amorphous PU matrix. Because of their compatibility, the nanoparticles improved the thermal stability and increased the glass transition temperature of PU. The membranes exhibited interesting conducting behavior with increasing temperature. The metal immobilization increased the ionic conductivity which further increased with temperature, with an activation energy of 0.15 eV indicating a thermally activated conduction mechanism. The optical and electrical properties of these starch-based membranes can be utilized in the development of novel sensors for biomedical applications. Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry