This work presents a method that achieves the highest loading, published so far, of non-agglomerated and well-distributed gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) inside a polymeric membrane. The method uses poly-thiosemicarbazide (PTSC) as the starting material for fabricating the membranes. This polymer contains one chelate site per monomeric unit, resulting in a high content of adsorption sites. This helps to achieve such high loading without agglomeration, along with the strong interaction of the chelate sites with the metal ions and the fact that they are distributed homogeneously along the membrane structure. The simple and scalable three-step procedure developed in this work resulted in a PTSC membrane containing 33.5 wt.% Au/PTSC in the form of 2.9 nm AuNPs. The membrane demonstrated catalytic activity for the reduction of 4-Nitrophenol (4-NP) to 4-Aminophenol (4-AP). © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
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