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Nano Lett. 2007 Jun;7(6):1764-9. Epub 2007 May 10.

Fabrication of cubic nanocages and nanoframes by dealloying Au/Ag alloy nanoboxes with an aqueous etchant based on Fe(NO3)3 or NH4OH.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.


This paper describes a two-step procedure for generating cubic nanocages and nanoframes. In the first step, Au/Ag alloy nanoboxes were synthesized through the galvanic replacement reaction between Ag nanocubes and an aqueous HAuCl4 solution. The second step involved the selective removal (or dealloying) of Ag from the alloy nanoboxes with an aqueous etchant based on Fe(NO3)3 or NH4OH. The use of a wet etchant other than HAuCl4 for the dealloying process allows one to better control the wall thickness and porosity of resultant nanocages because there is no concurrent deposition of Au. By increasing the amount of Fe(NO3)3 or NH4OH added to the dealloying process, nanoboxes derived from 50-nm Ag nanocubes could be converted into nanocages and then cubic nanoframes with surface plasmon resonance (SPR) peaks continuously shifted from the visible region to 1200 nm. It is also possible to obtain nanocages with relatively narrow SPR peaks (with a full width at half-maximum as small as 180 nm) by controlling the amount of HAuCl4 used for the galvanic replacement reaction and thus the optimization of the percentage of Au in the alloy nanoboxes.

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