• Copper;
  • CuI;
  • Nanocrystals;
  • Crystal growth;
  • Crystal engineering;
  • Photochemistry;
  • Optical properties


Synthesis of nanosized CuI crystals has become more and more important due to their wide range of applications. However, it is usually difficult to control the morphology and size of CuI crystals because of the preferential growth of the (111) face. In this study, single-crystalline γ-CuI nanocrystals with diamond and platelet morphologies have been successfully synthesised by utilising UV-irradiated 12-tungstosilicate (TSA) as a reducing agent for the reduction of Cu2+ under ambient conditions. A possible growth mechanism has been proposed and this suggests that the formation of diamond-shaped CuI nanocrystals is in accordance with homogeneous nucleation theory and the formation of CuI platelets is due to reaction-controlled growth with (111) facets as the basal planes. Both diamond-shaped and platelet-shaped CuI nanocrystals have a strong emission band at 365 nm which is different from the previous reports and a high electrical conductivity, indicating their promising applications in optical and electronic nanodevices. (© Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, 69451 Weinheim, Germany, 2009)