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Template Synthesis Of Metal Microtubule Ensembles Utilizing Chemical, Electrochemical, And Vacuum Deposition Techniques

Charles J. Brumlik, Vinod P. Menon, Charles R. Martin

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Microtubules are an interesting type of microstructure that resemble miniature drinking straws. Such tubular microstructures are found in nature. In addition, we and others have been investigating strategies for making synthetic analogs. We are especially interested in the idea of making metal microtubules. Four procedures for preparing metal microtubules are described in this paper. The general approach, called template-synthesis, entails using the pores in a microporous membrane as templates for forming the tubules. Microporous anodic aluminum oxide membranes and nuclear track-etch membranes are used as the template membranes. Gold and silver microtubules are made with outer diameters as small as 200 nm. These microstructures are characterized by scanning electron microscopy.