Abstract Monodisperse Pd nanoparticles were prepared by controlled reduction in organic phase and subsequent transfer to aqueous phase. A systematic study was carried out to finely tune nanoparticle size and optimize particle size distribution. The use of 4-dimethylaminopyridine as a transfer agent allowed for the easy and quantitative extraction of the Pd to the aqueous phase. The quaternary amine-functionalized metal nanoparticles were then used as metallic micelle replicas to grow silica around them. This novel and facile metal incorporation method provided an excellent dispersion and homogeneity of Pd nanoparticles on silica supports. In addition, cationic surfactants, such as cetyltrimethylammonium bromide, can be used to produce mesoporosity in these nanoparticles-containing silicas. As an alternative, the metal nanoparticles were functionalized with alkoxysilanes by covalent binding using mercaptopropyltriethoxysilane and then co-polymerized with tetraethoxysilane via basic-catalyzed hydrolysis in the presence of cationic surfactants.