Recently, we have been able to synthesize platinum colloidal nanoparticles of different shapes (Science, 1996, 272, 1924). In this report, we present transmission electron microscopic (TEM) results on the time-dependent shape distribution of platinum nanoparticles during the growth period and its dependence on the concentration of the capping polymer as well as the pH of the solution. The results suggest a shape-controlled growth mechanism in which the difference between the rate of the catalytic reduction process of Pt2+ on the 111 and 100 faces, the competition between the Pt2+ reduction and the capping process on the different nanoparticle surfaces, and the concentration-dependent buffer action of the polymer itself all control the final distribution of the different shapes observed.
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