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Nat Mater. 2014 Nov;13(11):1007-12. doi: 10.1038/nmat4105. Epub 2014 Oct 12.

Liquid-like pseudoelasticity of sub-10-nm crystalline silver particles.

Author information

1
SEU-FEI Nano-Pico Center, Key Lab of MEMS of Ministry of Education, Southeast University, Nanjing, 210096, China.
2
1] Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA [2] Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA [3] Center for Elements Strategy Initiative for Structural Materials (ESISM), Kyoto University, Sakyo, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan.
3
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Silicon Materials, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 310027, China.
4
Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Pittsburgh, 3700 O'Hara Street Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261, USA.
5
1] Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA [2] Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.

Abstract

In nanotechnology, small-volume metals with large surface area are used as electrodes, catalysts, interconnects and antennae. Their shape stability at room temperature has, however, been questioned. Using in situ high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, we find that Ag nanoparticles can be deformed like a liquid droplet but remain highly crystalline in the interior, with no sign of dislocation activity during deformation. Surface-diffusion-mediated pseudoelastic deformation is evident at room temperature, which can be driven by either an external force or capillary-energy minimization. Atomistic simulations confirm that such highly unusual Coble pseudoelasticity can indeed happen for sub-10-nm Ag particles at room temperature and at timescales from seconds to months.

PMID:
25306422
DOI:
10.1038/nmat4105

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