To make the nanostructures, the group carried out sequential electrodeposition of segments of a desirable metal that resists chemical etching (for example, gold) and short segments (‘gaps’) of a non-desirable metal susceptible to chemical etching (for example, silver) into the template membrane. Following this alternate multisegment deposition, the template is dissolved followed by selective dissolution of the non-desirable gaps, leading to the generation of high yields of nanowires or nanorods of the desirable metal from each pore.

In addition to solid gold nanorods, the same multisegment method can be used for the generation of porous nanorods and nanowires. The multisegment method was shown to result in significant savings in material requirements, processing time, and overall production costs, when compared to traditionally used single-deposition methods.

It is anticipated that this method can lead to scaled-up synthesis of metallic nanowires and nanorods in biomedical and energy applications.

The team presented its work in Nanotechnology.