Centrifugal shape sorting of faceted gold nanoparticles using an atomic plane-selective surfactant

Timothy P. Tyler, Pin Ann Lin, Yuan Tian, Hong Jun Gao, Xuan P.A. Gao, R. Mohan Sankaran, Mark C. Hersam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Highly refined shape populations of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) are important for emerging applications in catalysis, plasmonics, and nanomaterials growth. To date, research efforts have focused on achieving monodisperse shape by synthetic control or postsynthetic processing that relies on centrifugal sedimentation-based sorting schemes where differences in the particle mass and aspect ratios (e.g., rods and spheres) provide a driving force for separation. Here, we present a technique to reversibly modify the sedimentation coefficients of AuNPs possessing different shapes that would otherwise be virtually indistinguishable during centrifugal sedimentation due to their similar densities, masses, and aspect ratios by exploiting the preferential affinity of the surfactant cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) for the Au(100) facet. The resulting tailored sedimentation coefficients enable AuNP shape sorting via density gradient centrifugation (DGC). DGC-refined populations of faceted AuNPs are shown to significantly enhance the growth rate of InAs nanowires when used as seed particles, emphasizing the importance of shape control for nanomaterials growth applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1484-1487
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 7 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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