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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2015, Article ID 275705, 17 pages
Research Article

Preparation of Nanostructured Microporous Metal Foams through Flow Induced Electroless Deposition

Galip Akay1,2,3 and Burak Calkan1,4

1School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, UK
2Canik Başarı University, Canik, 55080 Samsun, Turkey
3GAP Technologies, 1 Grosvenor Place, 8th Floor, London SW1X 7HU, UK
4Optimum, Domodedovskiy Rayon, Starosyanova Village, Sadovaya Street No. 4, Moscow 142030, Russia

Received 15 May 2015; Revised 20 June 2015; Accepted 12 July 2015

Academic Editor: Ovidiu Ersen

Copyright © 2015 Galip Akay and Burak Calkan. 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.


Monolithic nanostructured metallic porous structures with a hierarchy of pore size ranging from ca. 10 μm to 1 nm are processed for use as microreactors. The technique is based on flow induced electroless deposition of metals on a porous template known as PolyHIPE Polymer. The process is conducted in a purpose built flow reactor using a processing protocol to allow uniform and efficient metal deposition under flow. Nickel chloride and sodium hypophosphite were used as the metal and reducing agent, respectively. Electroless deposition occurs in the form of grains with a composition of in which the grain size range was ca. 20–0.2 μm depending on the composition of the metal deposition solution. Structure formation in the monoliths starts with heat treatment above 600°C resulting in the formation of a 3-dimensional network of capillary-like porous structures which form the walls of large arterial pores. These monoliths have a dense but porous surface providing mechanical strength for the monolith. The porous capillary-like arterial pore walls provide a large surface area for any catalytic activity. The mechanisms of metal deposition and nanostructure formation are evaluated using scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray analysis, XRD, BET-surface area, and mercury intrusion porosimetry.