Metal Nanostructures with Hollow Interiors


  • This work has been supported in part by an AFOSR-MURI grant awarded to the UW, a DARPA-DURINT subcontract from Harvard University, a Career Award from the NSF (DMR-9983893), and a Fellowship from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Y. X. is a Camille Dreyfus Teacher Scholar (2002) and an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow (2000).


We have recently developed a simple and versatile route to the large-scale synthesis of metal nanostructures with well-defined hollow interiors. The key step of this process involves a replacement reaction between the surface of a nanoscale template and the solution of an appropriate salt precursor. The capability and feasibility of this method have been demonstrated by preparing hollow nanostructures of gold with a range of different morphologies (e.g., triangular rings, prism-shaped boxes, cubic boxes, spherical capsules, and tubes). In addition to gold, this method also worked well for other metals such as platinum and palladium (see Figure for an SEM image of Pd nanotubes). These metal nanostructures with hollow interiors are useful as fillers for generation of ultralight composites; they are also interesting for new types of applications that include use as components for highly sensitive colorimetric sensors and as effective, recoverable catalysts.