Cornell chemists have developed a way to make porous metal films with up to 1,000 times the electrical conductivity offered by previous methods. Their technique opens the door to creating a wide variety of metal nanostructures for engineering and biomedical applications.
The new method builds on the "sol-gel process," already familiar to chemists. Certain compounds of silicon mixed with solvents will self-assemble into a structure of silicon dioxide (i.e., glass) honeycombed with nanometer-scaled pores.
Learn about metal-assisted chemical etching.