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Template-directed synthesis

Producing 'perfect' particles

Synthetic procedures for making nanoparticles often result in samples that contain a range of different particle sizes. By using hollow self-assembled metal–organic spheres as templates, however, it is possible to make silica nanoparticles with uniform shapes and sizes in a precisely controlled fashion.

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Figure 1: A self-assembled metal–organic sphere made from 12 metal centres and 24 bridging organic ligands can be used as a surrounding template for the condensation of tetramethylsiloxane to produce silica nanoparticles of precisely defined size2.


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Correspondence to Jonathan R. Nitschke.

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Breiner, B., Nitschke, J. Producing 'perfect' particles. Nature Chem 2, 6–7 (2010).

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