, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 885-894
Date: 19 Jul 2008

Seed-mediated shape evolution of gold nanomaterials: from spherical nanoparticles to polycrystalline nanochains and single-crystalline nanowires

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We studied the kinetics of the reduction of a gold precursor (HAuCl4) and the effect of the molar ratio (R) of sodium citrate, which was introduced from a seed solution, and the gold precursor on the shape evolution of gold nanomaterials in the presence of preformed 13 nm gold nanoparticles as seeds. The reduction of the gold precursor by sodium citrate was accelerated due to the presence of gold seeds. Nearly single-crystalline gold nanowires were formed at a very low R value (R = 0.16) in the presence of the seeds as a result of the oriented attachment of the growing gold nanoparticles. At a higher R value (R = 0.33), gold nanochains were formed due to the non-oriented attachment of gold nanoparticles. At a much higher R value (R = 1.32), only larger spherical gold nanoparticles grown from the seeds were found. In the absence of gold seeds, no single-crystalline nanowires were formed at the same R value. Our results indicate that the formation of the 1D nanostructures (nanochains and nanowires) at low R values is due to the attachment of gold nanoparticles along one direction, which is driven by the surface energy reduction, nanoparticle attraction, and dipole–dipole interaction between adjacent nanoparticles.