Beauty of science: nanomechanics of a gold nanowire


The picture shows a coherent Bragg diffraction image of a self-suspended Au nanowire forming a nanobridge that crosses Si microtrenches. The symmetry of the diffraction image shows that the wire is of high crystalline quality and a perfect starting point for deformation studies.

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The diffraction image was acquired at the upgraded ID01 beamline using a monochromatic 10 keV X-ray beam, which was focused down to 350 x 700 nm2 using a tungsten Fresnel zone plate. In this study, the mechanical behaviour of single gold nanowires was investigated by combining nanofocused coherent X-ray diffraction with a recently developed in situ scanning force microscope (SFINX), which was installed on the ID01 diffractometer. The nanowire was bent by means of the AFM-tip and the wire deformation was monitored by coherent Bragg diffraction imaging. Below, inset in the original is an image of the nanobridge.


Coherent Bragg diffraction image of a self-suspended gold nanowire.

Coherent Bragg diffraction image of a self-suspended gold nanowire. Inset: AFM image of the nanobridge, a gold nanowire crossing silicon microtrenches. Image credit: T.W. Cornelius, Z. Ren, C. Leclere, A. Davydok, M.-I. Richard, S. Fernandez, S. Slaughter, O. Thomas (Aix-Marseille Université, CNRS, IM2NP (UMR 7334), Marseille, France), G. Chahine, S. Leake, T. Schülli (ID01 beamline, ESRF, France).


Top image: Coherent Bragg diffraction image of a nanobridge. Image credit: T.W. Cornelius et al.