Fragmentation of nanowires driven by Rayleigh instability

Molares, M. E.Toimil; Balogh, A. G.; Cornelius, T. W.; Neumann, R.; Trautmann, C.
November 2004
Applied Physics Letters;11/29/2004, Vol. 85 Issue 22, p5337
Academic Journal
Rayleigh instability of copper nanowires has been experimentally demonstrated. After annealing 30–50-nm-diam wires at temperatures between 400 and 600 °C, different stages of the fragmentation process are observed by scanning electron microscopy. At 400 °C, the wires start to fragment, forming shorter sections at 500 °C, and finally decaying into a chain of nanospheres at 600 °C. Average diameter and spacing of the spheres are in agreement with theoretical predictions. The Rayleigh instability applied to nanowires provides a structuring technique producing long chains of nanospheres, which should find interesting applications, for instance, by guiding light below the diffraction limit via coherent coupling of surface-plasmon polaritons.


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