Microwave-assisted synthesis of metal nanofoams

Physical Sciences : Materials and Compounds

Available for licensing


  • Arumugam Manthiram, Ph.D. , Mechanical Engineering
  • Karl Kreder III , Texas Materials Institute

Background/unmet need

High surface area metal foams hold great potential for use as electrodes in rechargeable batteries based on lithium or sodium, supercapacitors, and catalyst substrates/electrodes. Presently, a number of research institutions have shown the advantages of using high surface area metal foams, but all such efforts have used foams which would be cost-prohibitive to use at scale.

Invention Description

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a method for the cheap, facile, non-hazardous, synthesis of high surface area metal foams. Foams can be produced via a single step microwave assisted solvo-thermal method. Copper nickel, silver, and palladium foams have already been produced.


  • High surface area metal foams
  • Can be produced quickly and cheaply at scale


  • Surface areas 1000x greater than currently available commercial metal foams
  • Simple synthesis method which can be easily scaled to industrial production levels

Market potential/applications

 Battery manufacturers, catalytic applications, supercapacitors

Development Stage

Lab/bench prototype

IP Status

  • 1 PCT patent application filed