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International Journal of Electrochemistry
Volume 2012, Article ID 971736, 9 pages
Research Article

Size and Shape Control of Gold Nanodeposits in an Array of Silica Nanowells on a Gold Electrode

Department of Chemistry, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23284, USA

Received 7 May 2011; Revised 26 October 2011; Accepted 27 October 2011

Academic Editor: Tebello Nyokong

Copyright © 2012 Amy E. Rue and Maryanne M. Collinson. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Ordered arrays of hemispherical nanowells were formed in a sol-gel-derived silica film on a gold electrode using 500 nm diameter polystyrene latex spheres as templates. The conductive domain located at the bottom of each nanowell upon template removal was enlarged via electroless deposition from a gold plating solution. The structured electrodes thus formed were characterized using scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. Depending on the method used to make the films, the extent of the long-range packing and the size of the conductive domain changed. Electroless deposition in the nanowells produced (near) sphere-like nanostructures of gold, the size of which depended on the incubation time in the plating solution and the size of the conductive domain. Longer exposure times yielded nanostructures that filled the nanowell, whereas smaller exposure time yielded much smaller structures. Significantly larger, rougher deposits were formed in nanowells with large conductive domains. The electrochemical response observed at these electrodes was strongly dependent on the extent of long-range packing, the presence of defect sites in the film and their relative spacing, and the redox species in solution.