1-D Metal Nanobead Arrays within Encapsulated Nanowires via a Red-Ox-Induced Dewetting: Mechanism Study by Atom-Probe Tomography

Zhiyuan Sun, Avra Tzaguy, Ori Hazut, Lincoln J. Lauhon, Roie Yerushalmi*, David N. Seidman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Metal nanoparticle arrays are excellent candidates for a variety of applications due to the versatility of their morphology and structure at the nanoscale. Bottom-up self-assembly of metal nanoparticles provides an important complementary alternative to the traditional top-down lithography method and makes it possible to assemble structures with higher-order complexity, for example, nanospheres, nanocubes, and core-shell nanostructures. Here we present a mechanism study of the self-assembly process of 1-D noble metal nanoparticles arrays, composed of Au, Ag, and AuAg alloy nanoparticles. These are prepared within an encapsulated germanium nanowire, obtained by the oxidation of a metal-germanium nanowire hybrid structure. The resulting structure is a 1-D array of equidistant metal nanoparticles with the same diameter, the so-called nanobead (NB) array structure. Atom-probe tomography and transmission electron microscopy were utilized to investigate the details of the morphological and chemical evolution during the oxidation of the encapsulated metal-germanium nanowire hybrid-structures. The self-assembly of nanoparticles relies on the formation of a metal-germanium liquid alloy and the migration of the liquid alloy into the nanowire, followed by dewetting of the liquid during shape-confined oxidation where the liquid column breaks-up into nanoparticles due to the Plateau-Rayleigh instability. Our results demonstrate that the encapsulating oxide layer serves as a structural scaffold, retaining the overall shape during the eutectic liquid formation and demonstrates the relationship between the oxide mechanical properties and the final structural characteristics of the 1-D arrays. The mechanistic details revealed here provide a versatile tool-box for the bottom-up fabrication of 1-D arrays nanopatterning that can be modified for multiple applications according to the RedOx properties of the material system components.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)7478-7486
Number of pages9
JournalNano Letters
Issue number12
StatePublished - 13 Dec 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Chemical Society.


  • One-dimensional dewetting
  • atom-probe tomography
  • germanium oxide nanowire
  • hybrid nanostructure
  • metal nanobeads (NBs)
  • oxidation


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