Chemistry

Fine Tuning the Bore

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Science  30 Apr 2004:
Vol. 304, Issue 5671, pp. 651
DOI: 10.1126/science.304.5671.651c

One approach for synthesizing metal nanotubes is first to create a template with pores of the appropriate outside diameter (such as a polycarbonate membrane) and then to build the nanotube wall via electroless deposition on the inside surface of the pores. This process allows for good control over the final inside diameter, which can be important in applications such as bioseparations. Hou et al. have extended this approach to a nonmetallic system, in this case the layer-by-layer deposition of α,ω-diorganophosphates alternating with Zr cationic species. Sputtering alumina membranes with gold blocked deposition on the membrane faces but not in the pores. By electrochemically measuring ion currents through nanotubes with differing numbers of layers (ranging from 3 to 30), they show that the film thickness increases smoothly and at the same rate as films deposited on flat surfaces. Tubes with inside diameters as small as 23 nanometers were obtained in this way. — PDS

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 10.1021/ja049537t(2004).

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