An inverse micelle-based method for forming nanoparticles on supports includes dissolving a polymeric material in a solvent to provide a micelle solution. A nanoparticle source is dissolved in the micelle solution. A plurality of micelles having a nanoparticle in their core and an outer polymeric coating layer are formed in the micelle solution. The micelles are applied to a support. The polymeric coating layer is then removed from the micelles to expose the nanoparticles. A supported catalyst includes a nanocrystalline powder, thin film, or single crystal support. Metal nanoparticles having a median size from 0.5 nm to 25 nm, a size distribution having a standard deviation .ltoreq.0.1 of their median size are on or embedded in the support. The plurality of metal nanoparticles are dispersed and in a periodic arrangement. The metal nanoparticles maintain their periodic arrangement and size distribution following heat treatments of at least 1,000.degree. C.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Office of Basic Energy Sciences, U.S. Department of Energy contract DE-FG02-08ER15995.