Dielectric particles coated with conducting polymer shells were synthesized because of their potentially useful optical properties, such as optical absorbances in the UV-vis to mid-infrared region and enhanced third-order nonlinear optical properties. Polyaniline and polypyrrole coatings were grown by dispersion polymerization in situ with silica and polystyrene core particles that ranged from 200 nm to 2 µm in diameter. Discrete polypyrrole shells were grown on sub-micrometer silica cores as well as polypyrrole and polyaniline shells on micrometer silica and polystyrene cores. The addition of a steric stabilizer to the core particles was needed to form discrete shells. The conducting polymer shell/core composite particles were characterized by scanning electron microscopy, FT-IR spectroscopy, and UV-vis spectroscopy.
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