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Keywords:

  • catalysts;
  • gold nanocrystals;
  • gold nanoparticles;
  • polymer microspheres

Abstract

Polyglycidyl methacrylate (PGMA) microspheres, crosslinked and surface-functionalized by amine, can be used as a solid-state template for the synthesis of gold (Au) crystals in the forms of either nanoparticles (NPs) or plates. It is discovered that the polymer microsphere acts as an internal template to cultivate Au NPs inside the microsphere or an external template to generate the single-crystal plates depending on the critical concentration (Ccr) of gold ions. The ion–dipole interaction and the structure-dependent solubility of gold induce two distinct gold nanostructures in the presence of the functionalized polymer microspheres. The catalytic activity and long-term storage of the developed gold nanostructures that can be easily scaled-up for mass production through the developed novel methodology is demonstrated.