Nanoporous Metals with Structural Hierarchy: A Review


Nanoporous (np) metals have generated much interest since they combine several desirable material characteristics, such as high surface area, mechanical size effects, and high conductivity. Most of the research has been focused on np Au due to its relatively straightforward synthesis, chemical stability, and many promising applications in the fields of catalysis and actuation. Other materials, such as np-Cu, Ag, and Pd have also been studied. This review discusses recent advances in the field of np metals, focusing on new research areas that implement and leverage structural hierarchy while using np metals as their base structural constituents. First, we focus on single-element porous metals that are made of np metals at the fundamental level, but synthesized with additional levels of porosity. Second, we discuss the fabrication of composite structures, which use auxiliary materials to enhance the properties of np metals. Important applications of these hierarchical materials, especially in the fields of catalysis and electrochemistry, are also reviewed. Finally, we conclude with a discussion about future opportunities for the advancement and application of np metals.
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