Research Highlight

Novel nano scaffold

doi:10.1038/nindia.2010.111 Published online 12 August 2010

Researchers have now grown gold nanoparticles in nanoscale pores of mesoporous carbon nitride (MCN). The unique structure of MCN features inbuilt functional amine groups on the pore walls that provide a platform for the generation of nanoparticles.

Nanoparticle-embedded MCN exhibits a high catalytic efficacy for yielding biologically active compounds such as propargylamine.

It is difficult to stabilize and reduce the nanoparticles settled on porous surfaces. To address this issue, the researchers prepared MCN using two organic compounds — carbon tetrachloride and ethylenediamine — on a specific template. The evolved MCN had inbuilt functional amine groups on the pore walls. Gold nanoparticles with diameters of ~7 nm (similar to the MCN pores) then grew in the MCN pores.

The researchers tested the catalytic efficacy of nanoparticle-embedded MCN with component-coupling reactions.

"This technique is inexpensive and doesn't require any external stabilizing, reducing or size-controlling agent," says lead researcher Ajayan Vinu. It is possible to encapsulate various metal and metal oxide nanoparticles in the MCN pores, which could have potential applications in separation, hydrogen storage and electrode materials for fuel cells, he adds.

The authors of this work are from: World Premier International (WPI) Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (MANA), National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan; Nanomaterials and Catalysis Lab, Chemistry and Physics of Materials Unit, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Jakkur, Bengaluru, India; and Discovery Laboratory, Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad, India.


  1. Datta, R. K. K. et al. Gold nanoparticles embedded in a mesoporous carbon nitride stabilizer for highly efficient three-component coupling reaction. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 49, 5961-5965 10.1002/anie.201001699 (2010)  | Article |