Clean preparation of nanoparticulate metals in porous supports: a supercritical route

K.S. Morley, Patricia Marr, P.B. Webb, A.R. Berry, F.J. Allison, G. Moldovan, P.D. Brown, S.M. Howdle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Citations (Scopus)


Here we present the synthesis of nanometre sized silver particles which have been trapped within porous substrates; poly( styrene-divinylbenzene) beads and silica aerogels. This is the first time that supercritical carbon dioxide has been used to impregnate such porous materials with silver coordination complexes. In this paper we demonstrate that control over the resultant nanoparticles with respect to size, loading and distribution in the support material has been achieved by simple choice of the precursor complex. The solubility of the precursor complexes in the supercritical solvent is shown to be one of the key parameters in determining the size of the nanoparticles, their distribution and their homogeneity within the support matrix. Moreover, we demonstrate that the same methodology can be applied to two very different substrate materials. In the particular case of aerogels, conventional organic solvents could not be used to prepare nanoparticles because the surface tension of the solvent would lead to fracturing of the aerogel structure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1898-1905
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Materials Chemistry


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