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Forming spherical gold nanoparticles from polymorphic nanoparticles using a single laser pulse


A method is presented for using a single laser pulse to transform polymorphic polycrystalline gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) into crystalline nanospheres. Transmission electron microscope analysis of the nominally 60-nm-diameter Au NP starting material and the product suspension confirms the production of slightly smaller particles that exhibit greater crystallinity and feature reduced caliper diameter aspect ratios and anisotropy. Centrifugation followed by ultrasonic resuspension into citrate solution separates the nanospheres from the <15 nm ablation fragments, providing a route to monodisperse spherical crystalline Au NPs.

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  1. The full description of the procedures used in this paper requires the identification of certain commercial products and their suppliers. The inclusion of such information should in no way be construed as indicating that such products or suppliers are endorsed by NIST or are recommended by NIST or that they are necessarily the best materials, instruments, software, or suppliers for the purposes described.



Dynamic light scattering


Full width at half maximum


High resolution




Transmission electron microscope/microscopy


Ultraviolet–visible spectroscopy


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We gratefully acknowledge Cary Presser for use of his laser apparatus and Andy Herzing and Garnett Bryant for their helpful discussions and comments on this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Richard E. Cavicchi.

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Meier, D.C., Cavicchi, R.E. Forming spherical gold nanoparticles from polymorphic nanoparticles using a single laser pulse. J Nanopart Res 16, 2460 (2014).

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  • Transmission electron microscope
  • Gold nanoparticles
  • Anisotropy
  • Laser ablation
  • Resuspension