Synthesis of hexagonal close-packed gold nanostructures

Xiao Huang, Shaozhou Li, Yizhong Huang, Shixin Wu, Xiaozhu Zhou, Shuzhou Li, Chee Lip Gan, Freddy Boey, Chad A. Mirkin, Hua Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

433 Scopus citations


Solid gold is usually most stable as a face-centred cubic (fcc) structure. To date, no one has synthesized a colloidal form of Au that is exclusively hexagonal close-packed (hcp) and stable under ambient conditions. Here we report the first in situ synthesis of dispersible hcp Au square sheets on graphene oxide sheets, which exhibit an edge length of 200-500 nm and a thickness of ∼ 2.4 nm (∼ 16 Au atomic layers). Interestingly, the Au square sheet transforms from hcp to a fcc structure on exposure to an electron beam during transmission electron microscopy analysis. In addition, as the square sheet grows thicker (from ∼ 2.4 to 6 nm), fcc segments begin to appear. A detailed experimental analysis of these structures shows that for structures with ultrasmall dimensions (for example, <∼ 6 nm thickness for the square sheets), the previously unobserved pure hcp structure becomes stable and isolable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number292
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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