Fixing Nanoscaffolds

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Science  08 Apr 2005:
Vol. 308, Issue 5719, pp. 167
DOI: 10.1126/science.308.5719.167c

Crystals of a virus have been used as templates for making metal-organic nanocomposites. Falkner et al. exploited the large void spaces in cowpea mosaic virus crystals (∼50% of the crystal) by crosslinking the virus particles with glutaraldehyde. These scaffolds were exposed to tetrachloropallidate(II) ions, which bind to basic amino acids, and then to a buffer containing tetrachloroplatinate(II) ions and sodium hypophosphite. The hypo-phosphite reduced Pd(II) to the metal, which in turn reduced Pt(II) to the metal. The metallic content of the composite was 10% Pd and 55% Pt by weight, as determined by energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that the deposited metal mainly fills in the larger pores but not the smaller spaces connecting them. — PDS

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 10.1021/ja044496m (2005).

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