Gold nanotube membranes have catalytic properties

Yang Yu, Krishna Kant, Joseph Shapter, Jonas Addai-Mensah, Dusan Losic

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    54 Citations (Scopus)


    This work presents the fabrication of gold nanotube membranes (GNT) using gold deposition on porous anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) template and demonstrates the catalytic properties generated by the nanostructured gold surface. AAO membranes were prepared by electrochemical anodization of Al in 0.3 M oxalic acid electrolyte. Electroless gold deposition on AAO was performed via several steps using commercially available gold plating solutions. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images confirm that the gold nanotubes formed inside AAO pores have characteristic nanoclustered morphology as a result of the nucleation process during gold deposition. It was found that catalytic properties of GNT membranes depend on the size of gold nanoclusters which can be controlled by pH during nucleation process. The excellent catalytic properties (catalytic rate constant k = 0.132 min -1) of the GNT membranes were demonstrated by testing catalytic conversion of 4-nitrophenol (4-NP) into 4-aminophenol (4-AP) in the presence of NaBH 4 as a reductant. The correlation between the size of gold nanoclusters and catalytic activity was verified showing the capability of controlling and further improving catalytic properties of GNT membranes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)131-136
    Number of pages6
    JournalMicroporous and Mesoporous Materials
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2012


    • Anodic aluminum oxide membranes
    • Catalytic membranes
    • Electroless gold deposition
    • Gold nanotube membranes
    • Template synthesis


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