Shape control of size-selected naked platinum nanocrystals

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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

Colleges, School and Institutes


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
Early online date21 May 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 May 2021