nature 12 July 2001
Letters to Nature
Nature 412, 169 - 172 (2001) © Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

Ordered nanoporous arrays of carbon supporting high dispersions of platinum nanoparticles


* National Creative Research Initiative Center for Functional Nanomaterials and Department of Chemistry, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Taejon 305-701, Korea
Ę” Electrochemistry Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Taejon 305-701, Korea
Ę‘ CREST, Japan Science and Technology Corporation, Department of Physics, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-8578, Japan
°◊ Department of Physics and Center for Interdisciplinary Research, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-8578, Japan

Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to R.R. (e-mail:

Nanostructured carbon materials are potentially of great technological interest for the development of electronic, catalytic and hydrogen-storage systems. Here we describe a general strategy for the synthesis of highly ordered, rigid arrays of nanoporous carbon having uniform but tunable diameters (typically 6 nanometres inside and 9 nanometres outside). These structures are formed by using ordered mesoporous silicas as templates, the removal of which leaves a partially ordered graphitic framework. The resulting material supports a high dispersion of platinum nanoparticles, exceeding that of other common microporous carbon materials (such as carbon black, charcoal and activated carbon fibres). The platinum cluster diameter can be controlled to below 3 nanometres, and the high dispersion of these metal clusters gives rise to promising electrocatalytic activity for oxygen reduction, which could prove to be practically relevant for fuel-cell technologies. These nanomaterials can also be prepared in the form of free-standing films by using ordered silica films as the templates.

Macmillan MagazinesNature © Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2001 Registered No. 785998 England.