The utilisation of magnesium and aluminium fluoridenanoparticles in the preparation of transparent composites leading to materials with superior properties was investigated. Nanoscopic magnesium and aluminium fluoride has been prepared by the fluorolytic sol–gel route from the alkoxides and was surface modified by the reaction with trifluoroacetic acid or perfluorobutyric acid. IR spectroscopic experiments of the xerogels and crystal structure analysis of a trinuclear [Mg3(μ3F)(μ-TFA)6(OCH3)2(py)]3− cluster unit indicate that the carboxylate group is bound to the particle surface in a monodentate or bidentate bridging fashion. These particles were successfully incorporated into acrylate polymers with up to 40 wt% content to give fully transparent material. Ellipsometry and m-line measurements of thin films show the reduction of the refractive index of composite films with increasing metal fluoride filler content.
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