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Formation of chiral branched nanowires by the Eshelby Twist

Nature Nanotechnology volume 3, pages 477481 (2008) | Download Citation

Abstract

Manipulating the morphology of inorganic nanostructures, such as their chirality and branching structure, has been actively pursued as a means of controlling their electrical, optical and mechanical properties. Notable examples of chiral inorganic nanostructures include carbon nanotubes1,2, gold multishell nanowires3, mesoporous nanowires4,5 and helical nanowires6,7,8. Branched nanostructures9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16 have also been studied and been shown to have interesting properties for energy harvesting17 and nanoelectronics18. Combining both chiral and branching motifs into nanostructures might provide new materials properties. Here we show a chiral branched PbSe nanowire structure, which is formed by a vapour–liquid–solid branching from a central nanowire with an axial screw dislocation. The chirality is caused by the elastic strain of the axial screw dislocation, which produces a corresponding Eshelby Twist19,20 in the nanowires. In addition to opening up new opportunities for tailoring the properties of nanomaterials, these chiral branched nanowires also provide a direct visualization of the Eshelby Twist.

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Acknowledgements

Y.C. acknowledges support from the Stanford Global Energy and Climate Project and the Center for Probing the Nanoscale (CPN) with National Science Foundation (NSF) grant PHY-0425897. J.Z. is a CPN Fellow. W.D.N. acknowledges support by the Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, of the US Department of Energy under grant DE-FG02-04ER46163.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA

    • Jia Zhu
  2. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA

    • Hailin Peng
    • , A. F. Marshall
    • , D. M. Barnett
    • , W. D. Nix
    •  & Yi Cui

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Contributions

J.Z. and Y.C. conceived and designed the experiments. J.Z., A.F.M. and HP. performed the experiments. D.M.B. and W.D.N. performed simulation. J.Z., A.F.M., W.D.N. and Y.C. co-wrote the paper. All authors discussed the results and commented on the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Yi Cui.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2008.179

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