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Side-to-Side Cold Welding for Controllable Nanogap Formation from “Dumbbell” Ultrathin Gold Nanorods

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journal contribution
posted on 13.05.2016, 00:00 by Gaole Dai, Binjun Wang, Shang Xu, Yang Lu, Yajing Shen
Cold welding has been regarded as a promising bottom-up nanofabrication technique because of its ability to join metallic nanostructures at room temperature with low applied stress and without introducing damage. Usually, the cold welding process can be done instantaneously for ultrathin nanowires (diameter <10 nm) in “head-to-head” joining. Here, we demonstrate that “dumbbell” shaped ultrathin gold nanorods can be cold welded in the “side-to-side” mode in a highly controllable manner and can form an extremely small nanogap via a relatively slow welding process (up to tens of minutes, allowing various functional applications). By combining in situ high-resolution transmission electron microscopic analysis and molecular dynamic simulations, we further reveal the underlying mechanism for this “side-to-side” welding process as being dominated by atom kinetics instead of thermodynamics, which provides critical insights into three-dimensional nanosystem integration as well as the building of functional nanodevices.