Single-Layer Graphene as a Barrier Layer for Intense UV Laser-Induced Damages for Silver Nanowire Network

SR Das and Q Nian and M Saei and SY Jin and D Back and P Kumar and DB Janes and MA Alam and GJ Cheng, ACS NANO, 9, 11121-11133 (2015).

DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.5b04628

Single-layer graphene (SLG) has been proposed as the thinnest protective/barrier layer for wide applications involving resistance to oxidation, corrosion, atomic/molecular diffusion, electromagnetic interference, and bacterial contamination. Functional metallic nanostructures have lower thermal stability than their bulk forms and are therefore susceptible to high energy photons. Here, we demonstrate that SLG can shield metallic nanostructures from intense laser radiation that would otherwise ablate them. By irradiation via a UV laser beam with nanosecond pulse width and a range of laser intensities (in millions of watt per cm(2)) onto a silver nanowire network, and conformally wrapping SLG on top of the nanowire network, we demonstrate that graphene "extracts and spreads" most of the thermal energy away from nanowire, thereby keeping it damage-free. Without graphene wrapping, the radiation would fragment the wires into smaller pieces and even decompose them into droplets. A systematic molecular dynamics simulation confirms the mechanism of SLG shielding. Consequently, particular damage-free and ablation-free laser-based nanomanufacturing of hybrid nanostructures might be sparked off by application of SLG on functional surfaces and nanofeatures.

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