Bulk nanostructured metals from twinned silver nanowires

Sarah Schlossberg

In collaboration with the Huang lab, we are building a bulk nanostructured material from silver nanowires. We use multiply-twinned nanowires, assembled into a green body, to discover new metallic materials with exceptional properties and microstructures.

Bulk nanostructured metals provide a fascinating and useful mix of mechanical properties at size ranges varying from nano to macro [1]. Nanoscale precursors are assembled into a green body precursor, which is used to construct a dense material by taking advantage of expertise and techniques from both materials chemistry and metallurgy. The project will connect two disparate areas of materials science, that currently have little collaboration. This work is conducted in both Professor Jiaxing Huang and Professor David Dunandís labs, who are leading experts on materials chemistry and metallurgy, respectively.

Silver nanowires are the ideal building block because they have been thoroughly studied and their properties are well-understood [2]. In addition, they have an unusual five-fold twinning structure and can be stacked and aligned with a high aspect ratio. The Huang group has demonstrated successful silver nanowire synthesis at the gram scale using the polyol process. The group has pioneered various techniques for green body assembly that will be exploited in this project [3].

The Dunand group will provide the equipment and experience necessary to perform the densification steps in various ways. Characterization methods will include a wide range of bulk and miniaturized mechanical testing techniques. TEM and related diffraction techniques will be used to characterize and compare the microstructures. Synchrotron X-ray may also be used to study how grain mechanics if time permits [4].

Related Publications

  1. S.E. Skrabalak, Y.N. Xia. Pushing Nanocrystal Synthesis toward Nanomanufacturing, ACS Nano 3 (2009), 10-15.
  2. M. Rycenga, et. al. Controlling the Synthesis and Assembly of Silver Nanostructures for Plasmonic Applications, Chem. Rev. 111 (2011), 3669-3712.
  3. K.C. Pradei, K. Sohn, J. Huang. Cross-Flow Purification of Nanowires. Angew Chem Int 50 (2011), 3412-3416.
  4. Ye, B., Matsen, M. R., & Dunand, D. C. (2012). Finite-Element Modeling of Titanium Powder Densification. Metallurgical and Materials Transactions a-Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science, 43A(1), 381-390.

Funding support

  1. NSF