The assembly of nanoparticles using one-dimensional templates such as anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) has been cited as a possible fabrication route. However, the as-prepared one-dimensional nanostructures composed of the pure nanoparticles are often broken when the template is removed due to the fragile nature of the deposit.

To safeguard the nanostructures, researchers in China have come up with an organic protection assisted template method of fabricating of TiO2 nanorods from TiO2 nanoparticles. After depositing perylene around the wall of the channels in the porous alumina membranes, subsequent implantation of TiO2 nanoparticles resulted in TiO2/perylene composite nanorods, which replicated the morphology of the templates completely. The protective layer of perylene can be removed using a calcination process to allow recovery of the TiO2 nanorods.

The group supposes that the organic layer is able to protect the TiO2 rods from damage during the removal of the templates by alkaline etching. Such an organic protection assisted template method offers a new approach to fabricating one-dimensional nanostructures from nanoparticles.

The researchers presented their work in Nanotechnology.