Growth Mechanism of Five-Fold Twinned Ag Nanowires from Multiscale Theory and Simulations

Xin Qi, Zihao Chen, Tianyu Yan, Kristen A. Fichthorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Five-fold twinned metal nanowires can be synthesized with high aspect ratios via solution-phase methods. The origins of their anisotropic growth, however, are poorly understood. We combine atomic-scale, mesoscale, and continuum theoretical methods to predict growth morphologies of Ag nanowires from seeds and to demonstrate that high aspect ratio nanowires can originate from anisotropic surface diffusion induced by the strained nanowire structure. Nanowire seeds are similar to Marks decahedra, with {111} "notches" that accelerate diffusion along the nanowire axis to facilitate one-dimensional growth. The strain distribution on the {111} facets induces heterogeneous atom aggregation and leads to atom trapping at the nanowire ends. We predict that decahedral Ag seeds can grow to become nanowires with aspect ratios in the experimental range. Our studies show that there is a complex interplay between atom deposition, diffusion, seed architecture, and nanowire aspect ratio that could be manipulated experimentally to achieve controlled nanowire syntheses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4647-4656
Number of pages10
JournalACS nano
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 23 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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