5 years ago

Exploring the Formation of Symmetric Gold Nanostars by Liquid-Cell Transmission Electron Microscopy

Exploring the Formation of Symmetric Gold Nanostars by Liquid-Cell Transmission Electron Microscopy
Guillaume Wang, Nabeel Ahmad, Damien Alloyeau, Jaysen Nelayah, Christian Ricolleau
The shape-dependent properties of gold nanostars (NSs) have motivated massive research efforts in the field of colloidal chemistry to gain a better control over the morphology of these promising nanostructures. Nevertheless, this challenge requires a better understanding of the atomic-scale processes leading to the formation of stellated nanoparticles. We hereby report an unprecedented in situ study focused on the seed-mediated synthesis of symmetric gold NSs performed by radiolysis in methanol. We take advantage of the spatial and temporal resolutions of liquid-cell transmission electron microscopy to unravel the key effects of the growth speed, seed-crystal morphology, and dimethylamine functionalization on the formation mechanisms, shape, and stability of NSs enclosed by high-index facets. Surprisingly, the stellation processes transforming icosahedral nanoparticles into NSs with 20 sharp arms entails a continuous restructuring of NS facets driven by surface diffusion, which provide a fresh look at faceting mechanisms.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b01013

DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b01013

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