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Noble-Metal Nanocrystals with Concave Surfaces: Synthesis and Applications

Authors

  • Dr. Hui Zhang,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Silicon Materials, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310027 (P.R. China)
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  • Dr. Mingshang Jin,

    1. Center for Materials Chemistry, Frontier Institute of Science and Technology, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shanxi 710049 (P.R. China)
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  • Prof. Younan Xia

    Corresponding author
    1. The Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332 (USA)
    • The Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332 (USA)
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Abstract

Metal nanocrystals with concave surfaces are interesting for a wide variety of applications that are related to catalysis, plasmonics, and surface-enhanced spectroscopy. This interest arises from their high-index facets, surface cavities, and sharp corners/edges. Two major challenges are associated with this novel class of nanocrystals: 1) how to generate a concave surface with negative curvature, which is not favored by thermodynamics owing to its higher energy than the convex counterpart; and 2) how to stabilize the morphology of a nanocrystal with concave structures on the surface. Recently, a number of different procedures have been developed for the synthesis of noble-metal nanocrystals with concave surfaces. This Review provides a brief account of these developments, with the aim of offering new insights into the growth mechanisms. We focus on methods based on two general strategies: 1) site-specific dissolution through etching and galvanic replacement; and 2) directionally controlled overgrowth by facet-selective capping, kinetic control, and template-directed epitaxy. Their enhanced catalytic and electrocatalytic properties are also described.

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