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Production and characterization of polymeric thin films with embedded metal nanoparticles for application in sensors

Grant number: 20/15497-1
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: February 01, 2023 - January 31, 2025
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Physics - Condensed Matter Physics
Principal Investigator:Varlei Rodrigues
Grantee:Varlei Rodrigues
Host Institution: Instituto de Física Gleb Wataghin (IFGW). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers:Antonio Riul Júnior ; Daniel Mario Ugarte ; Matthias Hillenkamp


Thin polymer films fabricated using the "layer-by-layer" (LbL) technique offer a wide range of tuning the material properties through the choice of constituents and thickness. They are used today in numerous applications, notably for sensors in health and environmental applications. The possibility to further tailor the film's physical and chemical properties by incorporating metal nanoparticles (NPs) has been demonstrated using chemically prepared, functionalized particles. However, the necessary control over the distribution of particles in the film and of the interfaces is inherently difficult to obtain and represents a technological bottleneck. The interdisciplinary approach of this project is to combine physical control with chemical versatility. We propose to fabricate metal NPs in the gas phase and then embed them into LbL films of defined structure and properties. This physical fabrication technique gives full and independent access to all relevant parameters. The nanoparticle-polymer interactions will be characterized on a fundamental level using different spectroscopic techniques. The acquired understanding could then be used to design, fabricate, and optimize sensor prototypes for for bio-sensing and soil analysis. We will investigate LbL films embedded with NPs using plasmon spectroscopy techniques, plasmon-enhanced molecular spectroscopy, and electrical impedance spectroscopy (electronic languages). (AU)

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