Herein, we report a facile process for the preparation of styrene and methyl-methacrylate copolymer nanocomposites containing reduced graphene oxide and silver nanoparticles ((R-(GO-(PS-PMMA))/AgNPs)) by using (i) microwave irradiation (MWI) to obtain R-(GO-(PS-PMMA))/AgNPs and (ii) the in situ bulk polymerization technique to produce RGO/AgNPs-(PS-PMMA). Various characterization techniques, including FT-IR, XPS, Raman spectroscopy, XRD, SEM, HR-TEM, DSC, and TGA analysis, were used to characterize the prepared nanocomposites. The Berkovich nanoindentation method was employed to determine the hardness and elastic modulus of the nanocomposites. The results showed that the MWI-produced nanocomposites were found to have enhanced morphological, structural, and thermal properties compared with those of the nanocomposites prepared by the in situ method. In addition, the antibacterial activity of the prepared nanocomposites against the E. coli HB 101 K-12 was investigated, whereby an inhibition zone of 3 mm (RGO/AgNPs-(PS-PMMA) and 27 mm (R-(GO-(PS-PMMA))/AgNPs) was achieved. This indicates that the MWI-prepared nanocomposite has stronger antibacterial activity than the in situ-prepared nanocomposite.
Keywords: PS-PMMA; anti-microbial; microwave irradiation; reduced graphene oxide; silver nanoparticles.