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Because of their excellent properties and extensive applications, ceria nanomaterials have attracted much attention in recent years. This perspective provides a comprehensive review of current research activities that focus on the shape-controlled synthesis methods of ceria nanostructures. We elaborate on the synthesis strategies in the following four sections: (i) oriented growth directed by the crystallographic structure of cerium-based materials; (ii) oriented growth directed by the use of an appropriate capping reagent; (iii) growth confined or dictated by various templates; (iv) other potential methods for generating CeO2 nanomaterials. In this perspective, we also discuss the catalytic applications of ceria nanostructures. They are often used as active components or supports in many catalytic reactions and their catalytic activities show morphology dependence. We review the morphology dependence of their catalytic performances in carbon monoxide oxidation, water–gas shift, nitric oxide reduction, and reforming reactions. At the end of this review, we give a personal perspective on the probable challenges and developments of the controllable synthesis of CeO2 nanomaterials and their catalytic applications.
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