20 August 2021
We consider the development of ligand-assisted growth processes for generating shape-anisotropic nanomaterials. Using statistical mechanics, we analyze the conditions under which ligand-assisted growth of shape-anisotropic crystalline nanomaterials from solution can take place. Depending on ligand-facet interaction energy and crystal facet area, molecular ligands can form compact layers on some facets leaving other facets free. The growth process is then restricted to free facets and may result in significant anisotropy in crystal shape. Our study uncovers the conditions for ligand-assisted growth of nanoplatelets and nanowires from isotropic or anisotropic seed nanocrystals of cuboid shape. We show that in contrast to nanoplatelets, ligand-assisted growth of nanowires requires certain anisotropy in the ligand-facet interaction energy.
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