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Research HighlightFrom Dr. Hiroshi Matsui's Lab:
A variety of metal nanoparticles have been fabricated in various shapes previously due to their significant applications in catalysis, plasmonics, electronics, and medicine, however rational synthesis of nanoparticles in the size of < 10 nm in specific shapes is a technical challenge in Nanotechnology. The shape-controlled synthesis of nanoparticles traditionally involves kinetic growth around seed surfaces. Here, the Hunter team was able to fabricate the smaller nanoparticles via thermodynamic driven etching in reverse micelle reactors, yielding monodisperse hollow nanoparticles with concave frameworks and sharp edges. Pd nanocages, produced by this method, performs as best catalysts among other nanoparticles in different shapes for industrially important Suzuki-coupling reactions due to high metal atom exposure at kinks and edges of NPs. Since this shape-controlled nanoparticle fabrication methodology is applicable to a variety of metal compounds, it can be applicable to produce various important catalysts by cheap metals, a sustainable approach for future alternative catalyst production. Published in Nature Communucation (DOI:10.1038/ncomms4870) in May 2014.