Shape controlled synthesis of inorganic nanocrystals is one of the important issues in materials chemistry due to their novel shape dependent properties. Although various shapes of nanocrystals have been developed, a systematic account on the shape control of these nanocrystals still remains an important subject in materials chemistry. In this article, we will overview the recent developments in the geometrical shape evolution of semiconductor and metal oxide nanocrystals obtained by nonhydrolytic synthetic methods. Many structurally unprecedented motifs have appeared as zero-dimesional (D) polyhedrons, one-D rods and wires, two-D plates and prisms, and other advanced shapes such as branched rods, stars, and inorganic dendrites. Important parameters which determine the geometrical shapes of nanocrystals are also illustrated. In addition, as a possible application of such nanocrystals for biomedical sciences, we further describe their utilizations for cancer diagnosis through nanocrystal-assisted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
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