, Volume 70, Issue 4, pp 365-376

Template-based synthesis of nanomaterials

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The large interest in nanostructures results from their numerous potential applications in various areas such as materials and biomedical sciences, electronics, optics, magnetism, energy storage, and electrochemistry. Ultrasmall building blocks have been found to exhibit a broad range of enhanced mechanical, optical, magnetic, and electronic properties compared to coarser-grained matter of the same chemical composition. In this paper various template techniques suitable for nanotechnology applications with emphasis on characterization of created arrays of tailored nanomaterials have been reviewed. These methods involve the fabrication of the desired material within the pores or channels of a nanoporous template. Track-etch membranes, porous alumina, and other nanoporous structures have been characterized as templates. They have been used to prepare nanometer-sized fibrils, rods, and tubules of conductive polymers, metals, semiconductors, carbons, and other solid matter. Electrochemical and electroless depositions, chemical polymerization, sol-gel deposition, and chemical vapour deposition have been presented as major template synthetic strategies. In particular, the template-based synthesis of carbon nanotubes has been demonstrated as this is the most promising class of new carbon-based materials for electronic and optic nanodevices as well as reinforcement nanocomposites.

Received: 27 May 1999 / Accepted: 27 October 1999 / Published online: 8 March 2000