nanotimes News in Brief Plasmonics //
Welding of Nanowires With Light © Based on Material by Stanford University, School of Engineering / A. Myers
12-01 :: January 2012
A titled, cross-sectional scanning electron microscope image of plasmonically welded nanowires of silver. © Mark Brongersma / Stanford University
that harnesses plasmonics to fuse the wires with a simple blast of light.
At the heart of the technique is the physics of plas- monics, the interaction of light and metal in which the light flows across the surface of the metal in waves, like water on the beach.
“When two nanowires lay crisscrossed, we know that light will generate plasmon waves at the place where the two nanowires meet, creating a hot spot. The
team of engineers at Stanford has demonstrated a promising new nanowire welding technique
beauty is that the hot spots exist only when the nano- wires touch, not after they have fused. The welding stops itself. It’s self-limiting,” explained Mark Bron- gersma, an associate professor of materials science engineering at Stanford and an expert in plasmonics. Brongersma is one of the study’s senior authors.
“The rest of the wires and, just as importantly, the underlying material are unaffected,” noted Michael McGehee, a materials engineer and also senior author of the paper. “This ability to heat with preci- sion greatly increases the control, speed and energy efficiency of nanoscale welding.”