Silver metal nano-matrixes as high efficiency and versatile catalytic reactors for environmental remediation

Ludovic F. Dumée, Zhifeng Yi, Blaise Tardy, Andrea Merenda, Elise Des Ligneris, Ray R. Dagastine, Lingxue Kong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Nano-porous metallic matrixes (NMMs) offer superior surface to volume ratios as well as enhanced optical, photonic, and electronic properties to bulk metallic materials. Such behaviours are correlated to the nano-scale inter-grain metal domains that favour the presence of electronic vacancies. In this work, continuous 3D NMMs were synthesized for the first time through a simple diffusion-reduction process whereby the aerogel matrix was functionalized with (3-Mercaptopropyl)trimethoxysilane. The surface energy of the silica monolith templates was tuned to improve the homogeneity of the reduction process while thiol functionalization facilitated the formation of a high density of seeding points for metal ions to reduce. The diameter of NMMs was between 2 and 1000 nm, corresponding to a silver loading between 1.23 and 41.16 at.%. A rates of catalytic degradation kinetics of these NMMS which is three orders of magnitude higher than those of the non-functionalized silver-silica structures. Furthermore, the enhancement in mechanical stability at nanoscale which was evaluated by Atomic Force Microscopy force measurements, electronic density and chemical inertness was assessed and critically correlated to their catalytic potential. This strategy opens up new avenues for design of complex architectures of either single or multi-metal alloy NMMs with enhanced surface properties for various applications.

Original languageBritish English
Article number45112
JournalScientific Reports
StatePublished - 23 Mar 2017


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