In situnanojoining of Y- and T-shaped silver nanowires structures using femtosecond laser radiation
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We report the in situ joining of spatially separated silver nanowires without additional filler material by controlled irradiation with femtosecond laser pulses. Nanojoining under these conditions arises from highly localized heat generation in the vicinity of the gap between adjacent silver nanowires. Melting, followed by the flow of silver into the gap, is optimized by adjusting the direction of laser polarization relative to gap geometry. Our results show that melting of silver occurs on both nanowires in the vicinity of the gap between the two components. Successful formation of a joint is found to be a function of the angle between the long axis of the nanowires and the gap distance. Finite element simulations show that the strong localized electric field generated by optical excitation determines the location and the morphology of the resulting bond. Light coupling and the resulting emission properties of these Y-shaped nanowire structures have been simulated and are compared to similar structures where the gap remains open. It is suggested that joined Y-shaped couplers will have a higher switching ratio between emitted nanowire ends than those occurring in open-gap structures. Nanojoining induced by localized heating under strong field excitation may enable the production of robust branched metal nanowire structures for optical applications.
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