Science in China Series E: Technological Sciences

, Volume 52, Issue 9, pp 2709–2714 | Cite as

Controllable synthesis of metal particles by a direct current electrochemical approach



Shapes of copper and silver particles were successfully controlled by using a very simple, effective direct-current electrochemical approach without introducing any additives or templates. A diverse range of shapes and also different inner structures were thus accessible. The products prepared at relatively high potentials have flowerlike morphologies and exhibit flakes as building blocks. The uniformly thick flakes intersect mutually, have smooth surfaces and outwardly wavy edges. The particle diameter and the flake density can be easily controlled by changing potential and/or deposition time. With a decrease of potential, the particles’ shapes changed from flower to bud, to sphere and to octahedron. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) properties of the supported metal particles were investigated by UV-Vis diffuse reflectance spectra (UV-Vis DRS) and surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). It was found that the copper octahedra exhibited three characteristic bands, and SERS effect increases with the number of flakes within individual particles. Based on the experimental results, the mechanism for direct-current electrochemical growth of metal nanostructures was discussed.


metal particles controlled synthesis direct-current electrochemical growth surface plasmon resonance 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Siegfried M J, Choi K S. Electrochemical crystallization of cuprous oxide with systematic shape evolution. Adv Mater, 2004, 16(19): 1743–1746CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Jin R, Cao Y, Mirkin C A, et al. Photoinduced conversion of silver nanospheres to nanoprisms. Science, 2001, 294(5548): 1901–1903CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Sun Y, Xia Y. Shape-controlled synthesis of gold and silver nanoparticles. Science, 2002, 298(5601): 2176–2179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Tian N, Zhou Z Y, Sun S G, et al. Synthesis of tetrahexahedral platinum nanocrystals with high-index facets and high electro-oxidation activity. Science, 2007, 316(5825): 732–735CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Li C C, Shuford K L, Park Q H, et al. High-yield synthesis of single-crystalline gold nano-octahedra. Angew Chem Int Edit, 2007, 46(18): 264–3268Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Feldheim D L. The new face of catalysis. Science, 2007, 316(5825): 699–700CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Oaki Y, Imai H. Experimental demonstration for the morphological evolution of crystals grown in gel media. Cryst Growth Des, 2003, 3(5): 711–716CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Fukami K, Nakanishi S, Yamasaki H, et al. General mechanism for the synchronization of electrochemical oscillations and self-organized dendrite electrodeposition of metals with ordered 2D and 3D microstructures. J Phys Chem C, 2007, 111(3): 1150–1160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Tang S C, Meng X K, Lu H B, et al. PVP-assisted sonoelectrochemical growth of silver nanostructures with various shapes. Mater Chem Phys, 2009, doi: 10.1016/j.matchemphys.2009.04. 004Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Sarkar D K, Zhou X J, Tannous A, et al. Growth mechanisms of copper nanocrystals on thin polypyrrole films by electrochemistry. J Phys Chem B, 2003, 107(13): 2879–2881CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Zhou X J, Harmer A J, Heinig N F, et al. Parametric study on electrochemical deposition of copper nanoparticles on an ultrathin polypyrrole film deposited on a gold film electrode. Langmuir, 2004, 20(12): 5109–5113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ko W Y, Chen W H, Tzeng S D, et al. Synthesis of pyramidal copper nanoparticles on gold substrate. Chem Mater, 2006, 18(26): 6097–6099CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Roucoux A, Schulz J, Patin H. Reduced transition metal colloids: A novel family of reusable catalysts. Chem Rev, 2002, 102(10): 3757–3778CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Tang S C, Meng X K, Vongehr S. An additive-free electrochemical route to rapid synthesis of large-area copper nano-octahedra on gold film substrates. Electrochem Commun, 2009, 11(4): 867–870CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Tang S C, Meng X K, Wang C C, et al. Flowerlike Ag microparticles with novel nanostructure synthesized by an electrochemical approach. Mater Chem Phys, 2009, 114(2–3): 842–847CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Seo D, Park J C, Song H. Polyhedral gold nanocrystals with O-h symmetry: From octahedra to cubes. J Am Chem Soc, 2006, 128(46): 14863–14870CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Curtis A C, Duff D G, Edwards P P, et al. A morphology-selective copper organosol. Angew Chem Int Edit, 1988, 27(11): 1530–1533CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Tao A, Sinsermsuksakul P, Yang P D. Polyhedral silver nanocrystals with distinct scattering signatures. Angew Chem Int Edit, 2006, 45(28): 4597–4601CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Sosa I O, Noguez C, Barrera R G. Optical properties of metal nanoparticles with arbitrary shapes. J Phys Chem B, 2003, 107(26): 6269–6275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Mie G. Articles on the optical characteristics of turbid tubes, especially colloidal metal solutions. Ann Phys, 1908, 25(3): 377–445CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Zhang J T, Li X L, Sun X M, et al. Surface enhanced Raman scattering effects of silver colloids with different shapes. J Phys Chem B, 2005, 109(25): 12544–12548CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Schuck P J, Fromm D P, Sundaramurthy A G, et al. Improving the mismatch between light and nanoscale objects with gold bowtie nanoantennas. Phys Rev Lett, 2005, 94(1): 017402CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Duan G T, Cai W P, Luo Y Y, et al. Electrochemically induced flowerlike gold nanoarchitectures and their strong surface-enhanced Raman scattering effect. Appl Phys Lett, 2006, 89(21): 211905CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Wang L, Guo S J, Hu X G, et al. Facile electrochemical approach to fabricate hierarchical flowerlike gold micro structures: Electrodeposited superhydrophobic surface. Electrochem Commun 2008, 10(1): 95–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Jing C Y, Fang Y. Simple method for electrochemical preparation of silver dendrites used as active and stable SERS substrate. J Colloid Interf Sci, 2007, 314(1): 46–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Science in China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures, Department of Materials Science and EngineeringNanjing UniversityNanjingChina

Personalised recommendations