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Fungus keeps nanoparticles apart

  September 29, 2008
Grow a fungus in a bunch of metal nanoparticles and you end up with an efficient chemical catalyst.

Gold, silver, platinum and palladium nanoparticles cover a fungus' fine, root-like filaments. Dry out the fungus and nanoparticles remain spread apart.

Nanoparticles have chemical properties that the bulk metals don't have. The problem is metal nanoparticles clump together. Using metal nanoparticles in chemical catalysts requires ways of keeping the nanoparticles separate that don't also affect the chemical reactions.

The fungal technique could provide a route to inexpensive, efficient catalysts for fuel cells, chemical sensors and chemical production.

Research paper:
Fungal Templates for Noble-Metal Nanoparticles and Their Application in Catalysis
Angewandte Chemie International Edition, September 29, 2008

Researchers' homepage:
Alexander Eychmüller group

Back to TRN September 29/October 6, 2008

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