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Keywords:

  • colloids;
  • metal oxides;
  • nanostructures;
  • semiconductors;
  • shape control

Abstract

Inorganic nanocrystals with tailored geometries exhibit unique shape-dependent phenomena and subsequent utilization of them as building blocks for the fabrication of nanodevices is of significant interest. Herein, we review the recent developments in the shape control of colloidal nanocrystals with a focus on the scientifically and technologically important semiconductor and metal oxide nanocrystals obtained by nonhydrolytic synthetic methods. Many structurally unprecedented motifs have been discovered including polyhedrons, rods and wires, plates and prisms, and other advanced shapes such as branched rods, stars, inorganic dendrites, and dumbbells. The currently proposed shape-guiding mechanisms are presented and the important pioneering studies on the assembly of shape-controlled nanocrystals into ordered superlattices and the fabrication of prototype advanced nanodevices are discussed.