Investigating Reaction Intermediates during the Seedless Growth of Gold Nanostars Using Electron Tomography

Priscilla Choo, Daniel Arenas-Esteban, Insub Jung, Woo Je Chang, Emily A. Weiss, Sara Bals*, Teri W. Odom*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Good's buffers can act both as nucleating and shape-directing agents during the synthesis of anisotropic gold nanostars (AuNS). Although different Good's buffers can produce AuNS shapes with branches that are oriented along specific crystallographic directions, the mechanism is not fully understood. This paper reports how an analysis of the intermediate structures during AuNS synthesis from HEPES, EPPS, and MOPS Good's buffers can provide insight into the formation of seedless AuNS. Electron tomography of AuNS structures quenched at early times (minutes) was used to characterize the morphology of the incipient seeds, and later times were used to construct the growth maps. Through this approach, we identified how the crystallinity and shape of the first structures synthesized with different Good's buffers determine the final AuNS morphologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4408-4414
Number of pages7
JournalACS nano
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 22 2022


  • gold nanostars
  • multimode electron tomography
  • nanoparticle growth
  • nucleation
  • seedless synthesis
  • structural defects
  • twinning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • General Materials Science


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