Conclusions

The previous sections clearly show that a number of polymeric systems containing nanostructures can provide stabilization of nanoparticles and tailor nanoparticle size, size distribution, and shape. The polymer nanoenvironment also changes the nanoparticle properties via modification of the nanoparticle surface with polymer chains. All of the above allow development of a number of sophisticated polymer nanocomposites with tunable properties and promise for important applications. The area of their possible function determines the prospect for the development of each particular system. For heterogeneous catalysis, nanoporous func-tionalized polymers with nanoparticles seem to be most promising and robust materials in a number of catalytic reactions, especially if pore size and functionality can be tailored. For solution applications, most promising are block copolymers and dendrimers with nanoparticles. Moreover, block copolymer micelles can form films of various thickness (by spin coating) which is especially important for optical, magnetic, and sensor applications. Both block copoly-mer and dendrimers can be adsorbed on the surface in a regular manner which is promising for nanolithography. At the same time, one can expect a vigorous development of this field for years to come so new polymeric systems better able to control nanoparticle formation and properties will be developed.

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