Stepwise Evolution of Spherical Seeds into 20-Fold Twinned Icosahedra

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Science  24 Aug 2012:
Vol. 337, Issue 6097, pp. 954-957
DOI: 10.1126/science.1225653

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Understanding the factors that influence the growth and final shape of noble metal nanostructures is important for controlling their properties. However, relative to their single-crystalline counterparts, the growth of nanoparticles that contain twin defects can be difficult to control because multiple competitive growth pathways can yield such structures. We used spherical, cubic, and octahedral single-crystalline gold nanoparticles as dual electron microscopy labels and plasmonic seeds to track the growth of multiply twinned silver nanostructures. As the bimetallic nanostructures grew, they successively developed twin planes to ultimately form multiply twinned nanoparticles from single-crystalline seeds. Collectively, these data demonstrate how a series of nanoparticles of different shapes and internal crystal structures are interrelated and develop from one another.

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