Seeded growth of noble metal nanocrystals
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This research emphasizes on the use of seeded growth in synthesis of noble metal nanocrystals with precise control over the size, shape, and composition. In the first part of this work, I have produced Au nanocrystals with single-crystal structure and truly spherical profiles and investigated their optical properties and self-assembly as induced by dilution with water. These Au nanospheres were generated in high yield and purity, together with controllable sizes continually increased from 5 to 150 nm. I also found these Au nanospheres self-assembled into dimers, larger aggregates, and wavy nanowires, respectively, as diluted with water. In the second part of this work, I demonstrate the kinetic control can be implemented to control the shape of mono- and bi-metallic nanocrystals in seeded growth. The as-prepared single-crystal nanospheres of Au were employed as seeds to synthesize of tetrahedral Au nanocrystals and Au@Pd core-shell nanocrystals with six distinct shapes. The success of the two demonstrations relies on manipulation of reaction kinetics to achieve different product shapes. The reaction kinetics was controlled by varying a set of reaction parameters, including the type and concentration of capping agent, the amount of reductant, and the injection rate of metal precursor solution. In the final part of this work, I will discuss an unusual change in crystallinity observed in seeded growth of Au nanocrystals on Au seeds. In particular, single-crystal Au seeds treated with a chemical species could develop twin defects during the seed-mediated growth process to yield multiply twinned products.