New insight into how nanoparticles form could advance technologies from solar cells to medical tests

Paul ChenA research team from U of T Engineering has discovered previously unknown phenomena in the growth of nanoparticles. The insights could open new ways of engineering these tiny structures for a variety of purposes, from designing next-generation solar cells to developing new medical tests and treatments.

The team was led by recent graduate Paul Chen (ChemE PhD 2T2) and was a collaboration between the labs of Professor Frank Gu (ChemE, BME) and Professor Oleksandr Voznyy (Chemistry). In studying how atoms move to form rod-shaped gold nanoparticles, the researchers observed something that didn’t fit with the accepted theory.

“There are four modes of classical growth — that is, atom-by-atom growth — widely accepted in the literature,” says Chen, lead author of the new paper published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society reporting the team’s findings.

Read the full U of T Engineering News story.