Stability of crystal facets in gold nanorods

Hadas Katz-Boon, Michael Walsh, Christian Dwyer, Paul Mulvaney, Alison M. Funston, Joanne Etheridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Metal nanocrystals can be grown in a variety of shapes through the modification of surface facet energies via surfactants. However, the surface facets are only a few atoms wide, making it extremely challenging to measure their geometries and energies. Here, we locate and count atoms in Au nanorods at successive time intervals using quantitative scanning transmission electron microscopy. This enables us to determine the atomic-level geometry and the relative stability of the facets and to expound their relationship to the overall three-dimensional nanocrystal shape and size. We reveal coexisting high- and low-index facets with comparable stability and dimensions and find the geometry of the nanorods is remarkably stable, despite significant atom movements. This information provides unique insights into the mechanisms that govern growth kinetics and nanocrystal morphology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1635-1641
Number of pages7
JournalNano Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 11 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • atom counting
  • crystal growth
  • facet crystallography
  • gold nanorods
  • quantitative scanning transmission electron microscopy
  • surface energy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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