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Nanoscale. 2010 Mar;2(3):335-42. doi: 10.1039/b9nr00287a. Epub 2009 Dec 7.

Nanoparticle stability from the nano to the meso interval.

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  • 1Department of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Texas at San Antonio, One UTSA Circle, San Antonio, TX 78249, USA.


Nanoparticles are the cornerstone of nanotechnology. Their crystal structure and relation to shape are still open problems despite a lot of advances in the field. The classical theory of nanoparticle stability predicts that for sizes <1.5-2 nm the icosahedral structure should be the most stable, then between around 2-5 nm, the decahedral shape should be the most stable. Beyond that, face-centered-cubic (FCC) structures will be the predominant phase. However, in the experimental side, icosahedral (I(h)) and decahedral (D(h)) particles can be observed much beyond the 5 nm limit. In fact, it is possible to find I(h) and D(h) particles even in the mesoscopic range. Conversely, it is possible to find FCC particles with a size <1.5 nm. In this paper we review a number of the mechanisms proposed in the literature that allow the stabilization of nanoparticles. Some of the mechanisms are very interrelated and it becomes difficult to distinguish between them.

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