Silver nanoparticles grown by electrolysis of a silver ammonia solution in the presence of aluminium nitrate were found to exist in a variety of shapes, depending on electrosynthetic conditions, by the Department of Chemistry at Tsinghua University, Qinghuayuan, Beijing, China.
Originally published in March 2009 by Science Direct, Glen Murray Chapman, Hua Bai, Chun Li, and Gaoquan Shi discovered that by increasing the aluminium nitrate concentration in the electrolyte, the morphology of the silver crystals changes from spherical to rod or sheet-like structures. They discovered that the properties of the surfaces of silver films changed from hydrophilic to hydrophobic or even to super-hydrophobic. The practical conclusion is that these materials be used as self-cleaning surfaces or as conductive hydrophobic coatings.
The whole article can be found online at ScienceDirect.