Growth of inorganic polyhedral nanocrystals with excellent morphology control presents significant synthetic challenges, especially when the development of synthetic schemes to make nanocrystals with systematic shape evolution is desired. Nanocrystals with fine size and shape control facilitate formation of their self-assembled packing structures and offer opportunities for examination of their facet-dependent physical and chemical properties. In this Feature Article, recent advances in the synthesis of nanocrystals with systematic shape evolution are highlighted. The reaction conditions used to achieve this morphology change offer insights into the growth mechanisms of nanocrystals. A novel class of polyhedral core–shell heterostructures fabricated using structurally well-defined nanocrystal cores is also presented. Facet-dependent photocatalytic activity, molecular adsorption, and catalytic and electrical properties of nanocrystals have been examined and are discussed. Nanomaterials with enhanced properties and functionality may be obtained through continuous efforts in the synthesis of nanocrystals with well-defined structures and investigation of their plane-selective properties.
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