Laser-Driven Aggregation in Dextran–Graft–PNIPAM/Silver Nanoparticles Hybrid Nanosystem: Plasmonic Effects
Keywords:thermoresponsive polymer, silver nanoparticles, laser-induced structural transformations, plasmon heating, optical forces
The laser-induced aggregation in the thermosensitive dextran grafted-poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) copolymer/Ag nanoparticles (D–g–PNIPAM/AgNPs) hybrid nanosystem in water has been observed. The laser-induced plasmonic heating of Ag NPs causes the Lower Critical Solution Temperature (LCST) conformation transition in D–g–PNIPAM/AgNPs macromolecules which shrink during the transition. The shrinking decreases sharply the distance between the silver nanoparticles that launches the aggregation of Ag NPs and the appearance of plasmonic attractive optical forces acting between the nanoparticles. It has been shown that the approach of the laser wavelength to the surface plasmon resonance in Ag nanoparticles leads to a significant strengthening of the observed aggregation, which proves its plasmon nature. The laser-induced transformations in the D–g–PNIPAM/AgNPs nanosystem have been found to be essentially irreversible that differs principally them from the temperature-induced transformations. Such fundamental difference proves the crucial role of the optical forces arising due to the excitation of surface plasmons in Ag NPs.
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