We review recent developments in the preparation of mesoporous metals and related metal-based nanomaterials. Among the many types of mesoporous materials, mesoporous metals hold promise for a wide range of potential applications, such as in electronic devices, magnetic recording media, and metal catalysts, owing to their metallic frameworks. Mesoporous metals with highly ordered networks and narrow pore-size distributions have traditionally been produced by using mesoporous silica as a hard template. This method involves the formation of an original template followed by deposition of metals within the mesopores and subsequent removal of the template. Another synthetic method is the direct-template approach from lyotropic liquid crystals (LLCs) made of non-ionic surfactants at high concentrations. Direct-template synthesis creates a novel avenue for the production of mesoporous metals as well as related metal-based nanomaterials. Many mesoporous metals have been prepared by the chemical or electrochemical reduction of metal salts dissolved in aqueous LLC domains. As a soft template, LLCs are more versatile and therefore more advantageous than hard templates. It is possible to produce various nanostructures (e.g., lamellar, 2D hexagonal (p6mm), and 3D cubic (Ia3d)), nanoparticles, and nanotubes simply by controlling the composition of the reaction bath.
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