Controlling size and shape of nanoparticles

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have succeeded in creating specific shapes and sizes of colloidal platinum nanoparticles, a development that could lead to advances in the field of catalysis.

‘Catalytic reactivity depends on the size and the shape of the nanoparticles, and therefore the synthesis of well-controlled shapes and sizes of colloidal particles could be critical for these applications,’ according to a research paper being published in the June 28 issue of Science.

Although previous studies have explored the factors that influence the size distribution, stability and catalytic activity of colloidal particles, this work marks the first time researchers have been able to control the shape and size of such particles in colloidal aqueous solutions at room temperature.

In addition to catalysis, the results could have implications for other fields, since colloidal metal nanoparticles are used as photocatalysts, adsorbents, sensors and ferrofluids, as well as in optical, electronic and magnetic devices.

The project started about nine months ago, and is funded by the US. Office of Naval Research.