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Honolulu, HI, United States, 2006/08/25 - Researchers in Singapore for the first time demonstrated that nanostructured polyhedrons of functional materials with desired interiors can be synthesized template-free through a simple hydrothermal method..
Among many nanomaterials with distinct geometric shapes, spheres and cubes are the two simplest forms, yet they possess the highest symmetries. One of the obvious geometric merits of this class of materials is their low resistivity under fluidic conditions, as they can be essentially considered as zero-dimensional entities when their size is trimmed down to the nanoscale regime. So far, most hollow interiors of nanomaterials are created by template-methods. Researchers in Singapore for the first time demonstrated that nanostructured polyhedrons of functional materials with desired interiors can be synthesized template-free through a simple hydrothermal method.
When geometrically shaped nanostructures are prepared with hollow interiors, they become a class of attractive functional materials, although the complexity of the synthesis increases. Hollow nanomaterials have potential applications across different technological fields, such as photonic crystals, drug-delivery carriers, sensors, or chemical reactors.
Other unique features for these isotropic hollow materials include their light weight, because of central hollow voids, and their large specific surface areas, owing to the presence of both interior and exterior surfaces.
Dr. Hua Chun Zeng from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at National University of Singapore (NUS) summarizes his recent work for Nanowerk: "In previous work, most hollow interiors of nanomaterials are created by template-methods. Our method is template-free."
Basically, there have been two synthetic strategies available for the creation of interior space for nanostructured materials. The first one, template-assisted synthesis, provides an effective approach where hard templates such as polymeric and metallic cores or soft templates such as surfactant micelles or ionic solvents have been utilized. The second one, template-free synthesis, can also create interior space for nanomaterials through various physicochemical processes.
Read the full article on the Nanowerk website.
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By Michael Berger, Copyright 2006 Nanowerk LLC