In this paper, we present the cross-sectional transmission electron microscope images of gold nanoislands formed by annealing ultrathin gold films to correctly determine the nanoisland three-dimensional shapes. The samples studied were 5 and 7 nm gold films deposited on quartz and annealed at 500 and 900°C. The cross-sectional view of the gold nanoislands confirmed that they appear to be like truncated spheres and not like the usually assumed spheroids. The shape of the nanoislands varied from spherical to hemispherical under different sample fabrication conditions. These shapes are consistent with the results predicted by polarized absorption spectroscopy.
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