Low dimensional non-crystallographic metallic nanostructures: Hrtem simulation, models and experimental results

J. L. Rodríguez-López, J. M. Montejano-Carrizales, M. José-Yacamán

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Modern nanoparticle research in the field of small metallic systems has confirmed that many nanoparticles take on some Platonic and Archimedean solids related shapes. A Platonic solid looks the same from any vertex, and intuitively they appear as good candidates for atomic equilibrium shapes. A very clear example is the icosahedral (Ih) particle that only shows {111} faces that contribute to produce a more rounded structure. Indeed, many studies report the Ih as the most stable particle at the size range r ≤ 20 Å for noble gases and for some metals. In this review, we report on the structure and shape of mono- and bimetallic nanoparticles in the wide size range from 1-300 nm. First, we present AuPd nanoparticles in the 1-2 nm size range that show dodecahedral atomic growth packing, one of the Platonic solid shapes that have not been identified before in this small size range for metallic particles. Next, with particles in the size range of 2-5 nm, we present an energetic surface reconstruction phenomenon observed also on bimetallic nanoparticle systems of AuPd and AuCu, similar to a re-solidification effect observed during cooling process in lead clusters. These binary alloy nanoparticles show the fivefold edges truncated, resulting in {100} faces on decahedral structures, an effect largely envisioned and reported theoretically, with no experimental evidence in the literature before. Next nanostructure we review is a monometallic system in the size range of ≈ 5 nm that we termed the decmon. We present here some detailed geometrical analysis and experimental evidence that supports our models. Finally, in the size range of 100-300 nm, we present icosahedrally derived star gold nanocrystals which resembles the great stellated dodechaedron, which is a Kepler-Poisont solid. We conclude then that the shape or morphology of some mono- and bimetallic particles evolves with size following the sequence from atoms to the Platonic solids, and with a slightly greater particle's size, they tend to adopt Archimedean related shapes. If the particle's size is still greater, they tend to adopt shapes beyond the Archimedean (Kepler-Poisont) solids, reaching at the very end the bulk structure of solids. We demonstrate both experimentally and by means of computational simulations for each case that this structural atomic growth sequence is followed in such mono- and bimetallic nanoparticles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)725-751
Number of pages27
JournalModern Physics Letters B
Issue number13
StatePublished - May 30 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Molecular dynamics and other simulation methods
  • Nanoscale materials
  • Spectroscopy and geometrical structure of clusters
  • Synthesis and characterization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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