Tunable Ultra-high Aspect Ratio Nanorod Architectures grown on Porous Substrate via Electromigration

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The interplay between porosity and electromigration can be used to manipulate atoms resulting in mass fabrication of nanoscale structures. Electromigration usually results in the accumulation of atoms accompanied by protrusions at the anode and atomic depletion causing voids at the cathode. Here we show that in porous media the pattern of atomic deposition and depletion is altered such that atomic accumulation occurs over the whole surface and not just at the anode. The effect is explained by the interaction between atomic drift due to electric current and local temperature gradients resulting from intense Joule heating at constrictions between grains. Utilizing this effect, a porous silver substrate is used to mass produce free-standing silver nanorods with very high aspect ratios of more than 200 using current densities of the order of 108 A/m2. This simple method results in reproducible formation of shaped nanorods, with independent control over their density and length. Consequently, complex patterns of high quality single crystal nanorods can be formed in-situ with significant advantages over competing methods of nanorod formation for plasmonics, energy storage and sensing applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number22272
Number of pages9
JournalScientific Reports
Early online date29 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 29 Feb 2016


  • Electromigration
  • Nanorod
  • Porous substrate
  • High aspect ratio


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