Encapsulation of Gold Nanoclusters in Silica Materials via an Inverse Micelle/Sol-Gel Synthesis

Anthony Martino, Stacey A. Yamanaka, Jeffrey S. Kawola, Douglas A. Loy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Nanometer-sized gold particles were encapsulated in the micropores of xerogels and aerogels. The synthesis involves the sequential reduction of a gold salt followed by sol-gel processing in an inverse micelle solution. The inverse micelle solution solubilizes the metal salt and provides a microreactor for the nucleation, growth, and stabilization of the nanometer-sized clusters. Hydrolysis and condensation of an added siloxane precursor produces a wet gel embedding the particles. Characterization of the particle size and composition and the particle growth process was completed with transmission electron microscopy (TEM), electron diffraction, and UV-visible absorption spectrometry. Characterization of the gel surface areas was completed with N2 porosimetry. Material properties determined as a function of the gel precursor (TEOS vs a prehydrolyzed form of TEOS), the water to gel precursor reaction stoichiometry, and surfactant concentration are discussed in terms of the unique solution chemistry occurring in the microheterogeneous inverse micelle solutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-429
Number of pages7
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Chemistry


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