Abstract

Direct laser writing has been utilized to fabricate highly photostable fluorescent nanocluster microstructures in an organic polymer poly(methacrylic acid), where the carboxyl functional group is reported to play a vital role in nanocluster stabilization. In this Letter, we demonstrate that not only the polymer containing the carboxyl functional group, but also the polymer comprising the hydroxyl group, namely polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), can act as an appropriate stabilizer matrix for laser-induced synthesis and patterning of silver nanoclusters. The as-formed nanoclusters in the PVA film exhibit broadband emission and photostability comparable to the nanoclusters formed in the poly(methacrylic acid) polymer. As PVA is a widely used, nontoxic, biocompatible and biodegradable polymer, the technique of patterning fluorescent nanoclusters in PVA thin films is expected to find numerous applications in fields like fluorescence imaging, biolabeling, and sensing.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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