Quantitative Analysis of Different Formation Modes of Platinum Nanocrystals Controlled by Ligand Chemistry

Xi Yin, Miao Shi, Jianbo Wu, Yung Tin Pan, Danielle L. Gray, Jeffery A. Bertke, Hong Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Well-defined metal nanocrystals play important roles in various fields, such as catalysis, medicine, and nanotechnology. They are often synthesized through kinetically controlled process in colloidal systems that contain metal precursors and surfactant molecules. The chemical functionality of surfactants as coordinating ligands to metal ions however remains a largely unsolved problem in this process. Understanding the metal-ligand complexation and its effect on formation kinetics at the molecular level is challenging but essential to the synthesis design of colloidal nanocrystals. Herein we report that spontaneous ligand replacement and anion exchange control the form of coordinated Pt-ligand intermediates in the system of platinum acetylacetonate [Pt(acac)2], primary aliphatic amine, and carboxylic acid ligands. The formed intermediates govern the formation mode of Pt nanocrystals, leading to either a pseudo two-step or a one-step mechanism by switching on or off an autocatalytic surface growth. This finding shows the importance of metal-ligand complexation at the prenucleation stage and represents a critical step forward for the designed synthesis of nanocrystal-based materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6146-6150
Number of pages5
JournalNano letters
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 11 2017


  • Nucleation and growth
  • complexation
  • ligand
  • nanocrystal
  • platinum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Quantitative Analysis of Different Formation Modes of Platinum Nanocrystals Controlled by Ligand Chemistry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this