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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


1.3 PHYSICAL SCIENCES, Condensed matter physics, Optics

Publication Details

Appl.Opt. / Vol. 49, No. 19 , 3652-3660.


Novel nanocomposites consisting of a water soluble acrylamide–based photopolymer and colloidal zeolite nanoparticles of zeolite Beta and zeolite A were prepared. The interactions between the photopolymer components and zeolite nanoparticles in the photopolymerizable nanocomposites were characterized for the first time by 13C NMR and Visible spectroscopy. It was found that the zeolite Beta nanoparticles (up to 5% wt.) behave as a non-inert additive, resulting in an effective increase in layer thickness that causes doubling of the diffraction efficiency of the nanocomposite in comparison to that of the undoped photopolymer. On the other hand, the nanocomposite containing zeolite A nanoparticles showed no evidence of interaction with the polymer matrix and had similar values of diffraction efficiency and for small addition of nanoparticles (up to 2.5% wt.) showed slightly higher light induced refractive index modulation of the grating when compared to the undoped photopolymer. The good optical compatibility between the zeolites nanoparticles and the polymer allows a versatile design of photopolymerizable nanocomposites with different properties by selecting the adequate type of zeolite. The nanocomposite containing zeolite Beta nanoparticles demonstrates selective sensing behavior towards toluene and can be coated in either glass or plastic substrates and exposed directly to the environmental conditions.