Sequential Symmetry-Breaking Events as a Synthetic Pathway for Chiral Gold Nanostructures with Spiral Geometries
AbstractSymmetry-breaking synthetic controls allow for nanostructure geometries that are counter to the underlying crystal symmetry of a material. If suitably applied, such controls provide the means to drive an isotropic metal along a growth pathway yielding a three-dimensional chiral geometry. Herein, we present a light-driven solution-based synthesis yielding helical gold spirals from substrate-bound seeds. The devised growth mode relies on three separate symmetry-breaking events ushered in by seeds lined with planar defects, a capping agent that severely frustrates early stage growth, and the Coulombic repulsion that occurs when identically charged growth fronts collide. Together they combine to advance a growth pathway in which planar growth emanates from one side of the seed, advances to encircle the seed from both clockwise and counterclockwise directions, and then, upon collision of the two growth fronts, sees one front rise above the other to realize a self-perpetuating three-dimensional spiral structure.
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