Plasmon-mediated syntheses of metallic nanostructures

Mark R. Langille, Michelle L. Personick, Chad A. Mirkin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

185 Scopus citations


The ability to prepare noble metal nanostructures of a desired composition, size, and shape enables their resulting properties to be exquisitely tailored, which has led to the use of these structures in numerous applications, ranging from medicine to electronics. The prospect of using light to guide nanoparticle reactions is extremely attractive since one can, in principle, regulate particle growth based on the ability of the nanostructures to absorb a specific excitation wavelength. Therefore, using the nature of light, one can generate a homogenous population of product nanoparticles from a heterogeneous starting population. The best example of this is afforded by plasmon-mediated syntheses of metal nanoparticles, which use visible light irradiation and plasmon excitation to drive the chemical reduction of Ag+ by citrate. Since the initial discovery that Ag triangular prisms could be prepared by the photo-induced conversion of Ag spherical nanoparticles, plasmon-mediated synthesis has become a highly controllable technique for preparing a number of different Ag particles with tight control over shape, as well as a wide variety of Au-Ag bimetallic nanostructures. We discuss the underlying physical and chemical factors that drive structural selection and conclude by outlining some of the important design considerations for controlling particle shape as learned through studies of plasmon-mediated reactions, but applicable to all methods of noble metal nanocrystal synthesis. Power of the light: Plasmon-mediated synthetic methods are excellent techniques for controlling the growth and final shape of metal nanostructures. These reactions use visible light irradiation and excitation of plasmonic seeds to drive the chemical reduction of metal ions, usually Ag+, by citrate. The underlying physical and chemical factors that influence structural selection are outlined along with some important design considerations for controlling particle shape.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13910-13940
Number of pages31
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number52
StatePublished - Dec 23 2013


  • anisotropic nanoparticles
  • plasmon-mediated synthesis
  • shape control
  • silver
  • surface plasmon resonance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Catalysis


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