Transformation of truncated gold octahedrons into triangular nanoprisms through the heterogeneous nucleation of silver†
Described is a straightforward procedure for forming organized substrate-immobilized nanoprisms which are single crystalline, surfactant-free and which form a heteroepitaxial relationship with the underlying substrate. The devised route utilizes truncated Au octahedrons formed through solid state dewetting techniques as high temperature heterogeneous nucleation sites for Ag adatoms which are arriving to the substrate surface in the vapour phase. Observed is a morphological and compositional transformation of the Au structures to triangular nanoprisms comprised of a homogeneous AuAg alloy. During this transformation, the localized surface plasmon resonance red-shifts, broadens and increases in strength. The shape transformation, which cannot be rationalized using thermodynamic arguments dependent on the surface energy minimization, is described in terms of a kinetically driven growth mode, previously predicted by molecular dynamic simulations. The so-formed structures, when coated with a thin layer of Pd, are demonstrated as plasmonic sensing elements for hydrogen detection.