Using bottom-up chemistry techniques, the composition, size, and shape in particular can now be controlled uniformly for each and every nanocrystal (NC). Research into shape-controlled NCs have shown that the catalytic properties of a material are sensitive not only to the size but also to the shape of the NCs as a consequence of well-defined facets. These findings are of great importance for modern heterogeneous catalysis research. First, a rational synthesis of catalysts might be achieved, since desired activity and selectivity would be acquired by simply tuning the shape, that is, the exposed crystal facets, of a NC catalyst. Second, shape-controlled NCs are relatively simple systems, in contrast to traditional complex solids, suggesting that they may serve as novel model catalysts to bridge the gap between model surfaces and real catalysts.
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