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Phys Rev Lett. 2004 Mar 19;92(11):115507. Epub 2004 Mar 19.

Size- and temperature-dependent structural transitions in gold nanoparticles.

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  • 1Nanotechnology Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, 1-1-1 Higashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8565, Japan.


Size- and temperature-dependent structural transitions in gold nanoparticles were revealed with morphology statistics obtained by high-resolution electron microscopic observations for thousands of particles annealed in a helium heat bath. We found that gold nanoparticles over a wide size range, 3-14 nm, undergo a structural transformation from icosahedral to decahedral morphology just below the melting points. It was also clarified that the formation of bulk crystalline structures from the decahedral morphology requires the melt-freeze process due to an insurmountable high free-energy barrier.

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