This review article deals with the preparation, characterization and mechanisms of formation of uniform simple and composite metal particles of different modal diameters and shapes. In principle, such dispersions can be obtained by reduction of metal ions, in uncomplexed or complexed state, with suitable reducing agents and appropriate additives. The effect of the redox potential in a given oxidation/reduction system on the nature of the final particles is discussed in some detail. In another approach monodispersed particles of metal compounds are prepared first and then reduced to pure metals either in a liquid or a gaseous medium. In doing so, one can produce powders of a given morphology by selecting the precursor particles of the desired shape. A special case is represented by coated particles, consisting of cores and shells of different chemical composition. Depending on the materials, it is possible to reduce either one or both components by appropriate chemical reactions.
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