A facile and surfactant-free approach has been developed for the synthesis of cross-linked hyperbranched copper dendrites using copper oxalate complex as a precursor and oxalic acid as a reducing and structure-directing agent. The synthesized particles are composed of highly branched nanostructures with unusual cross-linked hierarchical networks. The formation of copper dendrites can be explained in view of both diffusion control and aggregation-based growth model accompanied by the chelation-assisted assembly. Oxalic acid was found to play dual roles as reducing and structure-directing agent based on the investigation results. The understanding on the crystal growth and the roles of oxalic acid provides clear insight into the formation mechanism of hyperbranched metal dendrites.
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