A seed mediated approach for the synthesis of anisotropic rod shaped gold nanoparticles in organic media (toluene) is demonstrated. Pre-formed gold nanoparticles stabilized in toluene by 4-hexadecylaniline (HDA) are used as seeds. These when reacted with 1-octadecylamine (ODA) hydrophobised chloroaurate ions in toluene lead to the formation of gold nanorods. ODA or alkylamines of different chain lengths which are the chloroaurate ion phase transfer agent have been found to play a key role in the formation of the nanorods. The gold nanorods that have a five-fold symmetry evolve from multiply twinned particles and are bound at the tips by [1 11] faces and at the sides by  faces. The gold nanorods have been shown to grow under the shape directing effect of the alkylamines which stabilize the high energy  faces. The concentration of the alkylamines has been found to play a critical role in the formation of the gold nanorods. Higher concentrations of the alkylamines lead to formation of spherical particles, at times of narrow size distribution.
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