Mechanically Assisted Self-Healing of Ultrathin Gold Nanowires

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Binjun Wang
  • Lu Qiu
  • Feng Ding
  • Jun Lou


Original languageEnglish
Article number1704085
Journal / PublicationSmall
Issue number20
Online published17 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2018


As the critical feature sizes of integrated circuits approaching sub-10 nm, ultrathin gold nanowires (diameter <10 nm) have emerged as one of the most promising candidates for next-generation interconnects in nanoelectronics. Also due to their ultrasmall dimensions, however, the structures and morphologies of ultrathin gold nanowires are more prone to be damaged during practical services, for example, Rayleigh instability can significantly alter their morphologies upon Joule heating, hindering their applications as interconnects. Here, it is shown that upon mechanical perturbations, predamaged, nonuniform ultrathin gold nanowires can quickly recover into uniform diameters and restore their smooth surfaces, via a simple mechanically assisted self-healing process. By examining the local self-healing process through in situ high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, the underlying mechanism is believed to be associated with surface atomic diffusion as evidenced by molecular dynamics simulations. In addition, mechanical manipulation can assist the atoms to overcome the diffusion barriers, as suggested by ab initio calculations, to activate more surface adatoms to diffuse and consequently speed up the self-healing process. This result can provide a facile method to repair ultrathin metallic nanowires directly in functional devices, and quickly restore their microstructures and morphologies by simple global mechanical perturbations.

Research Area(s)

  • In situ TEM, Nanomanufacturing, Rayleigh instability, Self-healing, Ultrathin gold nanowires

Citation Format(s)

Mechanically Assisted Self-Healing of Ultrathin Gold Nanowires. / Wang, Binjun; Han, Ying; Xu, Shang et al.
In: Small, Vol. 14, No. 20, 1704085, 17.05.2018.

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review