Solution-Phase Growth of Cu Nanowires with Aspect Ratios Greater Than 1000: Multiscale Theory

Junseok Kim, Jianming Cui, Kristen A. Fichthorn

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9 Scopus citations


Penta-twinned metal nanowires are finding widespread application in existing and emerging technologies. However, little is known about their growth mechanisms. We probe the origins of chloride- and alkylamine-mediated, solution-phase growth of penta-twinned Cu nanowires from first-principles using multiscale theory. Using quantum density functional theory (DFT) calculations, we characterize the binding and surface diffusion of Cu atoms on chlorine-covered Cu(100) and Cu(111) surfaces. We find stronger binding and slower diffusion of Cu atoms on chlorinated Cu(111) than on chlorinated Cu(100), which is a reversal of the trend for bare Cu surfaces. We also probe interfacet diffusion and find that this proceeds faster from Cu(100) to Cu(111) than the reverse. Using the DFT rates for hopping between individual sites at Ångstrom scales, we calculate coarse-grained, interfacet rates for nanowires of various lengths-up to hundreds of micrometers-and diameters in the 10 nm range. We predict nanowires with aspect ratios of ∼100, based on surface diffusion alone. We also account for the influence of a self-assembled alkylamine layer that covers most of the {100} facets, but is absent or thin and disordered on the {111} facets and in an "end zone"near the {100}/{111} boundary. With an end zone, we predict a wide range of nanowire aspect ratios in the experimental ranges. Our work reveals the mechanisms by which a halide-chloride-promotes the growth of high-aspect-ratio nanowires.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18279-18288
Number of pages10
JournalACS nano
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 23 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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