• Gold;
  • Nanobelts;
  • Nanoparticles, metal;
  • Nanorods, metal;
  • Shape control;
  • Synthesis


The attachment of water molecules to poly(vinylpyrrolidone) (PVP) is used in conjunction with the region-selective distribution of PVP and water in a water/PVP/n-pentanol system to confine reactions along the surface of PVP, thus achieving the highly shape-selective synthesis of anisotropic Au nanostructures with controlled sizes and remarkable shapes such as regular octahedrons, triangles, rods, dumbbells, belts, and hexagons. The IR absorption spectra of the Au nanoparticles confirm that the nanoparticles are formed around PVP, and corroborate the adsorption of PVP on Au. The size, shape, and plasmon resonance of the Au nanoparticles can be readily tuned by modifying the adsorption behavior and/or the reducing ability of PVP by adjusting the relative amounts of PVP and water, directly adding gold seeds, or changing the stirring conditions in the reaction mixture. The obtained highly pure anisotropic Au nanostructures and the synthesis method demonstrated here enable us to study distinct nanostructures to search for novel physicochemical properties and technological applications. Our method is also successfully extended to prepare highly pure silica spheres, tubes, and needles with controlled aspect ratios.