A novel single step chemical route is described to embed the silver and gold nanoparticles in composite films. The embedded composite films were characterized with, UV-vis, TEM and XPS analysis. The sizes of the noble metal nanoparticles are in the range of 12-16 nm. Potential possibilities as antimicrobial coating against Escherichia coli is presented. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.