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Tailoring of Structural Morphology of Silver Nanowires in Electrochemical Growth

Singh, Amrita and Ghosh, Arindam and Singh, Amrita and Singh, Amrita (2007) Tailoring of Structural Morphology of Silver Nanowires in Electrochemical Growth. In: MRS Proceedings, 1058 .

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Noble metal such as Ag normally exists in an fcc crystal structure. However as the size of the material is decreased to nanometer lengthscales, a structural transformation from that of its bulk state can be expected with new atomic arrangements due to competition between internal packing and minimization of surface energy. In many previous studies, it has been shown that silver nanowires (AGNWs) grown inside anodic alumina (AAO) templates by ac or dc electrochemical deposition from silver salts or complexes, adopt fcc structure and below some critical diameter ∼ 20 nm they may acquire hcp structure at low temperature. This is, however, critically dependant on the nature of confinement, as AgNWs grown inside nanotube confinement with subnanometer diameter have been reported to have fcc structure. Hence the question of the crystal structure of metal nanowires under combined influence of confinement, temperature and deposition condition remains open. In this abstract we show that the alternative crystal structures of AGNWs at room temperature can be achieved with electrochemical growth processes under specific conditions determined by the deposition parameters and nature of confinement. We fabricated AgNWs of 4H hexagonal structure with diameters 30 – 80 nm inside polycarbonate (PC) templates with a modified dc electrodeposition technique, where the nanowires were grown at deposition potentials as low as 10 mV in 2 M silver nitrate solution[1]. We call this low-potential electrodeposition (LPED) since the electrodeposition process occurs at potential much less than the standard Nernst potential (770 mV) of silver. Two types of electrodes were used – stainless steel and sputtered thin Pt film, neither of which had any influence on the crystal structure of the nanowires. EDS elemental analysis showed the nanowires to consist only of silver. Although the precise atomic dynamics during the LPED process is unclear at present, we investigated this with HRTEM (high-resolution transmission electron microscopy) characterization of nanowires grown over various deposition times, as well as electrical conductivity measurements. These experiments indicate that nanowire growth does not occur through a three-dimensional diffusion controlled process, as proposed for conventional over-potential deposition, but follow a novel instantaneous linear growth mechanism. Further experiments showed that, (a) conventional electrochemical growth at a small over-potential in a 2 mM AgNO3 solution yields nanowires with expected fcc structure inside the same PC templates, and (2) no nanowire was observed under the LPED conditions inside hard AAO templates, indicating that LPED-growth process, and hcp structure of the corresponding nanowires depend on deposition parameters, as well as nature of confinement.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Cambridge University Press.
Keywords: chemical synthesis;crystalline;metal
Department/Centre: Division of Physical & Mathematical Sciences > Physics
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2011 06:41
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2011 06:41
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ernet.in/id/eprint/39906

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