Shape control of size-selected naked platinum nanocrystals

Yu Xia, Diana Nelli, Riccardo Ferrando, Jun Yuan, Zi Li

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Controlled growth of far-from-equilibrium-shaped nanoparticles with size selection is essential for the exploration of their unique physical and chemical properties. Shape control by wet-chemistry preparation methods produces surfactant-covered surfaces with limited understanding due to the complexity of the processes involved. Here, we report the controlled production and transformation of octahedra to tetrahedra of size-selected platinum nanocrystals with clean surfaces in an inert gas environment. Molecular dynamics simulations of the growth reveal the key symmetry-breaking atomic mechanism for this autocatalytic shape transformation, confirming the experimental conditions required. In-situ heating experiments demonstrate the relative stability of both octahedral and tetrahedral Pt nanocrystals at least up to 700 °C and that the extended surface diffusion at higher temperature transforms the nanocrystals into equilibrium shape.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3019
Number of pages8
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Y.X. is grateful for a PhD studentship from the Southern University of Science and Technology (China). D.N. and R.F. acknowledge support from the project “Dipartimento di Eccellenza” of the Physics Department of the University of Genoa, the project PRIN2017 UTFROM of the Italian Ministry of University and Research, and from the International Research Network Nanoalloys of CNRS. Z.Y.L. and J.Y. are grateful to the UK EPSRC (EP/G070326/1, EP/G070474/1) for financial support for this research. Y.X., D.N., R.F. and J.Y. would like to dedicate this paper to Z.Y.L. who sadly passed away after the paper submission.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


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