Silver-polymer composite stars: Synthesis and applications

Kimberly A. Homan, Jeffrey Chen, Adriane Schiano, Mona Mohamed, Katherine A. Willets, Sankaran Murugesan, Keith J. Stevenson, Stanislav Emelianov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Colloidal "silver stars" were synthesized upon poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid nanosphere templates via a facile two-step silver reduction method. Myriad dendrimer-like Ag star morphologies were synthesized by varying the amount of poly(vinyl alcohol) and trisodium citrate used during silver reduction. Scanning electron microscopy studies revealed that star-shaped silver-polymer composites possessing nanoscopic, fractal morphologies with diameters ranging from 500 nm to 7 μm were produced. These composites have broad applications from antibacterial agents to catalysis; two such applications were tested here. Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) studies showed multiple hot spots of SERS activity within a single star. Electrochemical catalysis experiments demonstrated the feasibility of using the silver stars instead of platinum for the oxygen reduction reaction in alkaline fuel cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1673-1680
Number of pages8
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2011
Externally publishedYes


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