Silica (SiO2)-coated rhodium (Rh) nanoparticles were prepared using a water-in-oil microemulsion of polyoxyethylene (15) cetyl ether, cyclohexane and water. SiO2-coated Rh nanoparticles were obtained by hydrolyzing metal alkoxide (tetraethylorthosilicate, TEOS) in the solution containing Rh complex nanoparticles followed by thermal and reduction treatments. In the SiO2-coated Rh nanoparticle, a Rh particle with an average diameter of 4.1 nm was located nearly at the center of each spherical SiO2 particle. The SiO2 layer was approximately 15 nm thick. Since the Rh particle was wholly surrounded by SiO2, the Rh particle of the SiO2-coated Rh nanoparticle exhibited an extremely high thermal stability. Furthermore, the porous structure of the SiO2 layer could be controlled by the hydrolysis conditions of TEOS.
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