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Press Release 08-109
Metals Shape Up with a Little Help from Friends

New method 'self-assembles' metal atoms into porous nanostructures

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Illustration showing shimmering platinum atoms forming a gaping honeycomb structure.

After etching away the carbon material left from the use of intermediary polymers to organize the metal nanoparticles, the platinum structure features large (0.01 micrometers) hexagonal pores. The illustration depicts the completed porous platinum structure. This nanostructured platinum is the product of a radically innovative method for shaping metals developed by Cornell researchers. These porous metal structures have the capability to transform the development of catalysts for fuels cells and materials for microchip fabrication.

Credit: Courtesy of Scott Warren & Uli Wiesner, Cornell University


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Uli Wiesner, a materials researcher at Cornell University, explains how his basic research in interdisciplinary materials science has developed a new way of structuring metals with many possible applications, ranging from energy to medical technology.

Credit: National Science Foundation/Cornell University

 

Illustration showing polymers standing amongst the marble-like nanoparticles.

Illustration depicts ligand-coated platinum nanoparticles (blue and gray balls) nestled amongst the block co-polymers (blue and green strands). The self-assembly of platinum nanoparticles through the use of ligands and polymers is the key first step to a new method for structuring metals developed by Cornell Researchers.

Credit: Courtesy of Scott Warren & Uli Wiesner, Cornell University


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