A Dual Catalyst Strategy for Controlling Aluminum Nanocrystal Growth

Christian R. Jacobson, Gang Wu, Lawrence B. Alemany, Gopal Narmada Naidu, Minhan Lou, Yigao Yuan, Aaron Bayles, Benjamin D. Clark, Yukun Cheng, Arzeena Ali, Ah Lim Tsai, Ian A. Tonks, Peter Nordlander, Naomi J. Halas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The synthesis of Al nanocrystals (Al NCs) is a rapidly expanding field, but there are few strategies for size and morphology control. Here we introduce a dual catalyst approach for the synthesis of Al NCs to control both NC size and shape. By using one catalyst that nucleates growth more rapidly than a second catalyst whose ligands affect NC morphology during growth, one can obtain both size and shape control of the resulting Al NCs. The combination of the two catalysts (1) titanium isopropoxide (TIP), for rapid nucleation, and (2) Tebbe's reagent, for specific facet-promoting growth, yields {100}-faceted Al NCs with tunable diameters between 35 and 65 nm. This dual-catalyst strategy could dramatically expand the possible outcomes for Al NC growth, opening the door to new controlled morphologies and a deeper understanding of earth-abundant plasmonic nanocrystal synthesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5570-5574
Number of pages5
JournalNano letters
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 13 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was financially supported by the Robert A. Welch foundation (C-1220, N.J.H., and C-1222, P.N.), ARO (W911NF-12-1-0407), AFOSR (FA9550-15-1-0022), NSF (EEC-1449500), DTRA (HDTRA1-16-1-0042), and NIH (R35GM119457, I.A.T.). C.R.J. was supported by the Department of Defense (DoD) through the National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship (NDSEG) Program. Y.C. was supported by a Wayland E. Noland Excellence Fellowship (UMN). Data were acquired on instrumentation in the Shared Equipment Authority at Rice University.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Chemical Society. All rights reserved.


  • Nanocubes
  • Tebbe's reagent
  • aluminum
  • nanocrystals
  • nanoparticles
  • plasmonics
  • titanocene

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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