Graphene template-induced growth of single-crystalline gold nanobelts with high structural tunability†
Assembling Au nanocrystals with tunable dimensions and shapes on graphene templates has attracted increasing attention recently. However, directly growing anisotropic Au nanobelts on a graphene support has been rarely reported. Here, a facile, one-pot, and surfactant-free route is demonstrated to synthesize well-defined Au nanobelts with the induction of a multilayer graphene (mlG) template. The obtained Au nanobelts are single-crystalline with a preferable (111) orientation. More importantly, their structural evolution starting from Au clusters is systematically investigated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The results confirm that mlG consistently induces the growth of Au nanobelts from nucleation to the growth completion. The interfacial interaction between Au atoms and the graphene lattice is a predominant factor to direct the shapes and structures of Au nanocrystals, which makes the structures of Au nanobelts highly tunable with the surface modification of the mlG template. The assembly of mlG-Au nanobelts also presents extraordinary detection sensitivity when employed as a flexible surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) substrate, suggesting their great potential application in high-performance sensors. This report strengthens the fundamental understanding of the interactions between noble metals and carbon interfaces, which paves the way to construct and manipulate the complex structures of metals on graphitic substrates.