Nanoreactors for particle synthesis

Jordan H. Swisher, Liban Jibril, Sarah Hurst Petrosko, Chad A. Mirkin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


An emerging strategy for synthesizing nanoclusters and nanoparticles involves the confinement of particle precursors within small volumes and the subsequent reduction and aggregation of those precursors into discrete particles. These spatially isolated volumes are termed nanoreactors, and they impose barriers that not only restrict the movement of metal atoms and other reactants but also provide reaction conditions that are distinct from those of the surrounding environment. Nanoreactors for particle syntheses can be prepared by various strategies, which fall generally into two categories: solution-based and substrate-confined. Solution-based nanoreactors are broadly defined as 3D capsules that can be manipulated in solution, whereas substrate-confined nanoreactors are isolated volumes on a macroscopic substrate or surface. Here, we survey and analyse the merits of different nanoreactor techniques used to synthesize clusters and nanoparticles that cannot easily be made using traditional methods. We look at how the focus in this field has expanded beyond pure synthesis to making massive and complex libraries of materials and enabling exploration of the materials genome through high-throughput screening techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)428-448
Number of pages21
JournalNature Reviews Materials
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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