The Chemist | Journal of the American Institute of Chemists

Book Reviews

Metal-Polymer Nanocomposites
Reviewed by Dr. Kenneth Abate
Kenneth Abate, Ph.D. Consulting, Maple City, MI 49664


Book ReviewMetal-Polymer Nanocomposites contains nine chapters, each written by a different author or set of authors, most of whom are not American. Because of this authorship, the style differs with each chapter. Each chapter is a review of the technology on a specific area of nano-sized metal particles, materials containing nano-metal particles, and polymers containing nano-metallic particles and their properties.

The first chapter deals with general physical and chemical properties of nano-metallic particles and how and why the properties of nano-sized metal particles can dramatically differ from those of the same metal in bulk. It is followed by several chapters detailing the different synthesis methods commonly used to produce nano-sized metal containing polymeric systems and the properties of the materials produced. These methods include vapor-deposition cryochemical synthesis, the synthesis of metal containing polymers by pyrolysis of metal ion containing polymers and precursors, polymerization and copolymerization of metal containing monomers, and multilayer systems consisting of plasma polymerized thin films embedded with metal particles by simultaneous plasma polymerization. (The latter method produces a composite in which metal particles are embedded in one plane between two plasma polymer layers that do not contain metal particles.) The last few chapters are devoted to optical properties of metal-polymer nanocomposites.

In some of the chapters, there are brief discussions concerning practical applications of nano-sized metal containing materials. Among these are dichroic films, LCDs, color filters, polarizers, dyes, magnetic-resonance-imaging contrast agents, optical sensors, and non-linear optical devices. In general, the chapters are clearly, and thoroughly presented. The subjects covered are not for the casual reader and one should have a sound chemical background to fully appreciate and use the information presented.

The book is about 300 pages in length and of good quality. It is filled with diagrams, graphs, figures, pictures, and various formulations that are clearly presented and readily understood. The chapters have very extensive reference sections that overall cite literature from 1857 to 2003. Most references are from the 1990's. It is interesting to note that there are a few "spell check" type word errors in the chapters and, also, that four authors were required to write a thirty-page chapter. Although I would consider it to be expensive, Metal-Polymer Nanocomposites should be useful to those entering the field of nano-sized metal containing polymers and composites.



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