Advanced Materials, 2018, vol 30, 40, pp. 1803159
Active nanocomposites are created with liquid inclusions that contain plasmonic gold nanoparticles inside a polymeric matrix. The alkylthiol-coated gold particles are designed to reversible agglomerate at certain temperatures, which changes the plasmonic coupling and thus optical properties. It is found that particles confined to the liquid inclusions inside the active composite retain this capability and cause macroscopic, temperature-dependent color change of the solid. The transition is fully reversible for at least 100 times and tunable in temperature via particle size and ligand. This method is suitable to “package” responsive dispersion in solid composites to exploit their dynamic properties in materials.