Directly monitoring the growth of gold nanoparticle seeds into gold nanorods.

Research paper by Zhongqing Z Wei, Francis P FP Zamborini

Indexed on: 15 Dec '04Published on: 15 Dec '04Published in: Langmuir


This paper describes the use of atomic force microscopy to directly image surface-attached 3-5 nm diameter gold nanoparticle seeds before and after seed-mediated growth into gold nanorods (Au NRs) and other shapes (spheres, triangles, and hexagons). Results show that Au NRs form from seeds growing in either one or two directions. A direct correlation exists between seed diameter and NR diameter; small diameter seeds form small diameter NRs. However, correlation between seed diameter and nanostructure shape or NR length is less evident. We describe our results in terms of growth mechanisms proposed in the literature and discuss possible reasons for the large size dispersity observed for surface-grown Au NRs. A better understanding of Au NR and other metal and semiconductor one-dimensional (1D) growth processes is necessary to improve synthesis, tailor their properties, and utilize 1D nanostructures for useful technological applications.