Facile synthesis of Ag nanocubes and Au nanocages

Sara E. Skrabalak, Leslie Au, Xingde Li, Younan Xia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

692 Scopus citations


This protocol describes a method for the synthesis of Ag nanocubes and their subsequent conversion into Au nanocages via the galvanic replacement reaction. The Ag nanocubes are prepared by a rapid (reaction time < 15 min), sulfide-mediated polyol method in which Ag(I) is reduced to Ag(0) by ethylene glycol in the presence of poly(vinyl pyrrolidone) (PVP) and a trace amount of Na2S. When the concentration of Ag atoms reaches supersaturation, they agglomerate to form seeds that then grow into Ag nanostructures. The presence of both PVP and Na2S facilitate the formation of nanocubes. With this method, Ag nanocubes can be prepared and isolated for use within approximately 3 h. The Ag nanocubes can then serve as sacrificial templates for the preparation of Au nanocages, with a method for their preparation also described herein. The procedure for Au nanocage preparation and isolation requires approximately 5 h.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2182-2190
Number of pages9
JournalNature protocols
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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