Seeding a New Kind of Garden with Nanoscale Building Blocks

The properties of solids can be manipulated for optimal performance in applications through confinement of materials to nanometer dimensions. However, control of composition and structure is required for nanoscale materials to be integrated into new technologies. Professor Skrabalak and her students are addressing this need by validating new synthetic strategies to access well-defined nanomaterials. For example, shown here are gold/palladium octopods – bimetallic nanocrystals with eight branches – synthesized by seed-mediated co-reduction. The branching pattern is directed by the seed structure and these nanocrystals represent a multi-functional platform. Therein, the optical properties of nanoscale gold can be coupled with the electrocatalytic properties of palladium (studied in collaboration with the Peters Group) to provide new chemical insight into palladium-specific surface chemistry.

Read more: “Octopods versus Concave Nanocrystals: Control of Morphology by Manipulating the Kinetics of Seeded Growth via Co-Reduction,” Christopher J. DeSantis, Angela A. Peverly, Dennis G. Peters, Sara E. Skrabalak, Nano Lett., 2011, 11, 2164.

Dennis Peters

Herman T. Briscoe Professor

Analytical, Inorganic, Organic

Sara E. Skrabalak

James H. Rudy Professor

Inorganic, Materials, Physical