Ultrathin single crystal Au nanowires with diameter of ∼1.6 nm and length of few micrometers were synthesized with high yield by simply mixing HAuCl4 and oleylamine at room temperature. High resolution transmission electron microscopy studies revealed that all of these nanowires are single crystalline and grew along the  direction. The valency evolution of the gold species during the synthesis was studied by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, which showed a clear Au3+ → Au+ → Au stepwise reduction at different reaction stages. Small angle X-ray scattering and small-angle X-ray diffraction suggest mesostructure formation upon HAuCl4 and oleylamine mixing. The slow in situ reduction of this mesostructure leads to the formation of ultrathin nanowires in solution. This novel nanowire growth mechanism relies on cooperative interaction, organization, and reaction between inorganic precursor salts and oleylamine.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/wenyu_huang/21/