Silver nanoclusters embedded in two transparent fluorinated polyimides, 4,4'-hexafluoroisopropylidene diphthalic anhydride - 2,3,5,6-tetramethyl paraphenylene diamine (6FDA-DAD) and 3,3',4,4' - biphenyltetracarboxylic acid dianhydride - 1,1-bis(4-aminophenyl)-1-phenyl-2,2,2-trifluoroethane (BPDA-3F), have been produced by surface modification with KOH aqueous solution followed by K-assisted Ag doping and thermal reduction in hydrogen atmosphere. The reaction rate of the nucleophilic hydrolysis in KOH, studied by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS), depends on the polyimide chemical structure. After ion-exchange in AgNO3 solution and subsequent annealing, the polyimide structure recovery was monitored by FT-IR whereas the characteristic surface plasmon absorption band of silver nanoparticles was evidenced by optical absorption measurements. The structure of silver nanoclusters as related to size and size distribution in the different polyimide matrices was thoroughly investigated by Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The collected data evidenced a uniform distribution of Ag clusters of nanometric size after thermal treatment at 300 degrees C in both polyimides. For the same ion-exchange treatment parameters and annealing temperature, XRD analyses evidenced the presence of crystallites with similar sizes.
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