Teflon AF/Ag nanocomposites with various metal concentrations were fabricated by an evaporation process. Transmission electron microscopy examination showed that for low metal concentrations, the silver formed isolated individual nanoparticles. At higher metal concentrations, percolating metallic networks within the polymer matrix were formed. Optical absorption measurements showed a transition from individual plasmon absorption peaks for individual Ag nanoparticles to broadband optical absorption for the metallic networks. The absorption profile closely matches the solar radiation spectrum for an intermediate metal concentration of 45%. Thus, these novel polymer-metal nanocomposites have significant potential for photovoltaic applications.
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