Facile synthesis of Ag nanocubes and Au nanocages

Nat Protoc. 2007;2(9):2182-90. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2007.326.


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 Na(2)S. 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 Na(2)S 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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Gold / chemistry*
  • Nanostructures / chemistry*
  • Nanostructures / ultrastructure
  • Nanotechnology / methods*
  • Silver / chemistry*
  • Surface Properties


  • Silver
  • Gold