A flexible colloidal seeded-growth strategy has been developed to synthesize all-oxide semiconductor/magnetic hybrid nanocrystals (HNCs) in various topological arrangements, for which the dimensions of the constituent material domains can be controlled independently over a wide range. Our approach relies on driving preferential heterogeneous nucleation and growth of spinel cubic iron oxide (IO) domains onto brookite TiO2 nanorods (b-TiO2) with tailored geometric parameters, by means of time-programmed delivery of organometallic precursors into a suitable surfactant environment. The b-TiO2 seeds exhibit size-dependent accessibility towards IO under diffusion-controlled growth regime, which allows attainment of HNCs individually made of a single b-TiO2 section functionalized with either one or multiple nearly spherical IO domains. Despite of the dissimilarity of the respective crystal-phases, the two materials share large interfacial junctions without significant lattice strain being induced across the heterostructures. The synthetic achievements have been supported by a systematic morphological, compositional and structural characterization of the as-prepared HNCs, offering a mechanistic insight into the specific role of the seeds in the control of heterostructure formation in liquid media. In addition, the impact of the formed b-TiO2/IO heterojunctions on the magnetic properties of IO has also been assessed.
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