We report on a novel one-step catalyst-free, thermal chemical vapor deposition procedure to synthesize gold nanocrystals on silicon substrates. This approach yields single-crystal nanocrystals with various morphologies, such as prisms, icosahedrons, and five-fold twinned decahedrons. Our approach demonstrates that high-quality anisotropic crystals composed of fcc metals can be produced without the need for surfactants or templates. Compared with the traditional wet chemical synthesis processes, our method enables direct formation of highly pure and single crystalline nanocrystals on solid substrates which have applications in catalysis. We investigated the evolution of gold nanocrystals and established their formation mechanism.
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