Dendrimer-Encapsulated Nanoparticles: New Synthetic and Characterization Methods and Catalytic Applications
In this article we describe the synthesis, characterization, and applications of dendrimer-encapsulated nanoparticles (DENs). These materials are synthesized using a template approach in which metal ions are extracted into the interior of dendrimers and then subsequently reduced chemically to yield nearly size-monodisperse particles having diameters in the 1-2 nm range. Monometallic, bimetallic (alloy and core@shell), and semiconductor nanoparticles have been prepared by this route. The dendrimer component of these composites serves not only as a template for preparing the nanoparticle replica, but also as a stabilizer for the nanoparticle. In this perspective, we report on progress in the synthesis, characterization, and applications of these materials since our last review in 2005. Significant advances in the synthesis of core@shell DENs, characterization, and applications to homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis (including electrocatalysis) are emphasized.