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August 2014

Shaping the Future of Nanocrystals

The first direct observations of how facets form and develop on platinum nanocubes point the way towards more sophisticated and effective nanocrystal design and reveal that a nearly 150 year-old scientific law describing crystal growth breaks down at the nanoscale.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers used several highly sophisticated transmission electron microscopes at NCEM through a user project, as well as an advanced high-resolution, fast-detection camera, to capture the physical mechanisms that control the evolution of facets – flat faces – on the surfaces of platinum nanocubes formed in liquids. Understanding how facets develop on a nanocrystal is critical to controlling the crystal’s geometric shape, which in turn is critical to controlling the crystal’s chemical and electronic properties.

Read the full press release.