Our work on hollow complex nanostructures has been published in Science!

One of the main works from Dr. Edgar Gonzalez’s doctorate in our group was the synthesis of highly complex metallic hollow nanostructures. He obtained gold and silver nanocages and nanoboxes (multi-walled and/or multi-chambered polyhedra and wires). The degree of structural complexity was not the only achievement here, but also the fact that the synthetic procedure can be performed at room temperature (green chemistry), unlike previous attempts where high temperatures were required.

This work, carried out with the collaboration of Prof. Jordi Arbiol from the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB), has now been published in Science, “Carving at the Nanoscale: Sequential Galvanic Exchange and Kirkendall Growth at Room Temperature”. Its value also resides in the fact that the concept relies in “carving” the hollow structure out of a solid one (controlled corrosion). And this is fundamentally different from the general trend of thinking that complex precious nanostructures should be built assembling objects atom-by-atom or molecule-by-molecule. This conceptual move is also well framed in the Perspective article by W. Parak that introduces our paper in the Science issue: “Complex Colloidal Assembly”. It is also well explained in simpler terms in the BBC Technology news item “Nanoparticle hollowing method promises medical advances”.

Gonzalez, E., Arbiol, J., & Puntes, V. F. (2011). Carving at the Nanoscale: Sequential Galvanic Exchange and Kirkendall Growth at Room Temperature. Science, 334(6061), 1377–1380.


Selected media coverage and related:

Wolfgang J. Parak (2011). Complex Colloidal Assembly. Science 334(6061), 1359-1360.


BBC Online: Nanoparticle hollowing method promises medical advances, by Leo Kelion. December 8, 2011.


PhysicsWorld.com: Corrosion carves out 3D nanostructures, by Belle Dumé. December 12, 2012.


RSC Chemistry World: Molecular suitcases created by corrosion, by Simon Hadlington. December 8, 2012.


El Mundo Newspaper: ‘Matriuskas’ en las estructuras internas de las nanopartículas. December 8, 2011.


ScienceDaily: Carving at the Nanoscale. December 10, 2011


MaterialsToday.com: Carving goes nanoscale. December 12, 2011.


Phys.org: Carving at the nanoscale. December 8, 2011.


Nanowiki.info: Why hollow?… No, why solid!, by Victor Puntes. December 19, 2011.


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