Superfast assembly and synthesis of gold nanostructures using nanosecond low-temperature compression via magnetic pulsed power

BS Li and KF Bian and JMD Lane and KM Salerno and GS Grest and T Ao and R Hickman and J Wise and ZW Wang and HY Fan, NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, 8, 14778 (2017).

DOI: 10.1038/ncomms14778

Gold nanostructured materials exhibit important size-and shape-dependent properties that enable a wide variety of applications in photocatalysis, nanoelectronics and phototherapy. Here we show the use of superfast dynamic compression to synthesize extended gold nanostructures, such as nanorods, nanowires and nanosheets, with nanosecond coalescence times. Using a pulsed power generator, we ramp compress spherical gold nanoparticle arrays to pressures of tens of GPa, demonstrating pressure- driven assembly beyond the quasi-static regime of the diamond anvil cell. Our dynamic magnetic ramp compression approach produces smooth, shockless (that is, isentropic) one-dimensional loading with low- temperature states suitable for nanostructure synthesis. Transmission electron microscopy clearly establishes that various gold architectures are formed through compressive mesoscale coalescences of spherical gold nanoparticles, which is further confirmed by in-situ synchrotron X-ray studies and large-scale simulation. This nanofabrication approach applies magnetically driven uniaxial ramp compression to mimic established embossing and imprinting processes, but at ultra-short (nanosecond) timescales.

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