Preparation and optical properties of colloidal Ag0 nanoclusters from reduction of solution ionomer Ag-carboxylate ionic aggregates activated by swelling of covalently attached chain segments

Bofeng Li, Tao Hu, Nian Ma, Zhen Hu, Xinghou Gong, Chonggang Wu, Masanori Hara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Small colloidal Ag0 nanoclusters successfully were prepared from solution reaction of CH3COOAg with a copolymer acid, poly(methyl methacrylate-ran-methacrylic acid) (MMA–MAA), in a methanol-containing solvent at room temperature in the dark in the absence of a typical chemical reductant. Tentatively mechanistically, slow PMMA-ionomerisation of the Ag+ ions produces intramolecular –COO–Ag+ aggregate cross-links in the solution, which, upon swelling of the chain segments covalently bound to them, are activated by the resultant elastic forces to dissociate instantaneously at the O–Ag coordination bonds to give bare (i.e. uncoordinated), highly oxidative Ag+ ions, which are subject to reduction by the active α-H atoms of the solvent methanol to make Ag0 nanoclusters supported by the re-formed MMA–MAA; the MMA–MAA acid-copolymer, without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change, serves as a mechanical-activator or, say, catalyst for the mechanochemical reduction of CH3COOAg. This novel, facile approach may universally be extended to fabricate other transition-metal nanoclusters deposited in diverse polymeric matrices. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)583-599
Number of pages17
JournalColloid and Polymer Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2017


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


  • Ag
  • Colloidal nanocluster
  • Ionic aggregate
  • Ionomer
  • Reduction

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