Nanoparticle shape, thermodynamics and kinetics

L. D. Marks, L. Peng

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

139 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nanoparticles can be beautiful, as in stained glass windows, or they can be ugly as in wear and corrosion debris from implants. We estimate that there will be about 70 000 papers in 2015 with nanoparticles as a keyword, but only one in thirteen uses the nanoparticle shape as an additional keyword and research focus, and only one in two hundred has thermodynamics. Methods for synthesizing nanoparticles have exploded over the last decade, but our understanding of how and why they take their forms has not progressed as fast. This topical review attempts to take a critical snapshot of the current understanding, focusing more on methods to predict than a purely synthetic or descriptive approach. We look at models and themes which are largely independent of the exact synthetic method whether it is deposition, gas-phase condensation, solution based or hydrothermal synthesis. Elements are old dating back to the beginning of the 20th century - some of the pioneering models developed then are still relevant today. Others are newer, a merging of older concepts such as kinetic-Wulff constructions with methods to understand minimum energy shapes for particles with twins. Overall we find that while there are still many unknowns, the broad framework of understanding and predicting the structure of nanoparticles via diverse Wulff constructions, either thermodynamic, local minima or kinetic has been exceedingly successful. However, the field is still developing and there remain many unknowns and new avenues for research, a few of these being suggested towards the end of the review.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number053001
JournalJournal of Physics Condensed Matter
Volume28
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 20 2016

Keywords

  • electron microscopy
  • kinetics
  • nanoparticles
  • shape
  • thermodynamics
  • wulff construction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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