Stress-induced phase transformation and optical coupling of silver nanoparticle superlattices into mechanically stable nanowires
One-dimensional silver materials display unique optical and electrical properties with promise as functional blocks for a new generation of nanoelectronics. To date, synthetic approaches and property engineering of silver nanowires have primarily focused on chemical methods. Here we report a simple physical method of metal nanowire synthesis, based on stressinduced phase transformation and sintering of spherical Ag nanoparticle superlattices. Two phase transformations of nanoparticles under
... particles under stress have been observed at distinct length scales. First, the lattice dimensions of silver nanoparticle superlattices may be reversibly manipulated between 0-8 GPa compressive stresses to enable systematic and reversible changes in mesoscale optical coupling between silver nanoparticles. Second, stresses greater than 8 GPa induced an atomic lattice phase transformation, which induced sintering of silver nanoparticles into micron-length scale nanowires. The nanowire synthesis mechanism displays a dependence on both nanoparticle crystal surface orientation and presence of particular grain boundaries to enable nanoparticle consolidation into nanowires.