Fundamental growth principles of colloidal metal nanoparticles – a new perspective†
In the past few decades, much effort was put into the development of synthetic strategies to produce nanoparticles of different sizes and morphologies and a large number of scientific contributions is dedicated to the characterization and application of metal nanoparticles. In contrast, only few studies deal with particle formation mechanisms. As a consequence, theoretical concepts that describe particle growth processes are very rare and the few existing models are hardly able to explain how synthesis parameters influence the final particle size distribution. This contribution discusses recent experimental results from which a novel growth concept based on colloidal stability is deduced. The growth concept is in contrast to nucleation models and allows a description of colloidal growth processes from a different perspective. It states that for most syntheses the minimal particle size is rather determined by colloidal than thermodynamic stability making a nucleation model irrelevant.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Fundamentals of Nanocrystal Formation