Lu, Y.; Ballauff, M.: Spherical polyelectrolyte brushes as nanoreactors for the generation of metallic and oxidic nanoparticles: Synthesis and application in catalysis. Progress in Polymer Science 59 (2016), p. 86-104
tIf long chains of a polyelectrolyte are densely affixed to colloidal spheres, a spherical poly-electrolyte brush (SPB) results. It has been demonstrated that most of the counterions thatbalance the charges of the polyelectrolyte chains in aqueous solution are confined withinthe brush layer. Some years ago it has been shown that metal ions confined within a SPBcan be reduced to yield well-defined metal nanoparticles with high catalytic activity. In asimilar way, metal oxides as TiO2and MnOxcan be generated within the brush layer. Herewe review this work with special emphasis on catalysis. We first discuss recent papers thatstudy the confinement of the counterions within SPB and the consequences thereof for thesolution properties of the SPB. Then a survey of synthetic studies on these composite par-ticles is presented. Finally, a comprehensive review of the investigations on the catalyticactivity of metallic and oxidic nanoparticles generated on SPB will be given. All resultsobtained on these systems demonstrate SPB act as true “nanoreactors” that can be usedfor an efficient and safe handling of metallic and oxidic nanoparticles in catalysis withoutimpeding their catalytic activity.