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  • Liquid Metals provide Effective Transport System
    Aleksandra Falchevskaya, ITMO University's ChemBio Cluster (Credit ITMO University)

Liquid Metals provide Effective Transport System

Mar 03 2021 Read 820 Times

A new method for creating hollow nanoparticles using liquid metals has been devised by chemists from ITMO University (St Petersburg). Hollow nanocapsules are widely used for various purposes, from targeted drug delivery to catalysis induction in petrochemistry.

Conventional production methods using precious metals such as platinum, silver, or gold are both complex and expensive. The scientists at ITMO University have succeeded in producing metal nanocapsules from gallium and its alloy with indium, making the process significantly simpler and cheaper. A regular drop of metal, warmed up to 30 degrees Celsius is subjected to ultrasound to produce micro- and nanodroplets; these are then subjected to the galvanic replacement reaction, resulting in hollow metal particles.

“We can produce monometallic hollow particles just as well as bi- or even trimetallic ones,” notes Aleksandra Falchevskaya, lead author of the study and a Master’s student at ITMO University’s ChemBio Cluster. “We can use additional  substances to control the particles’ properties, such as making them less smooth, equipping them with offshoots that increase their total area, making them more or less porous, or changing the thickness of their walls. It’s a versatile method. It will allow any researcher to create a capsule of a specific shape and size, fit for the needs of whichever experiment they’re planning.”

Another advantage of liquid metals is that they are relatively inactive. For that reason, similar procedures could potentially be carried out with more than 20 other metals that possess higher reduction potential than gallium and indium in the electrochemical activity series.
Aleksandra S. Falchevskaya, Artur Y. Prilepskii, Sofia A. Tsvetikova, Elena I. Koshel, and Vladimir V. Vinogradov. Facile Synthesis of a Library of Hollow Metallic Particles through the Galvanic Replacement of Liquid Gallium. Chemistry of Materials, 2021/10.1021/acs.chemmater.0c03969

Further details www.en.itmo.ru


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