Room-temperature welding and sintering of metal nanostructures, nanoparticles and nanowires, by capillary condensation of chemical vapors have successfully been demonstrated. Nanoscale gaps or capillaries that are abundant in layers of metal nanostructures have been found to be the preferred sites for the condensation of chemically oxidizing vapor, H2O2 in this work. The partial dissolution and resolidification at such nanogaps completes the welding/sintering of metal nanostructures within ∼10 min at room-temperature, while other parts of nanostructures remain almost intact due to negligible amount of condensation on there. The welded networks of Ag nanowires have shown much improved performances, such as high electrical conductivity, mechanical flexibility, optical transparency, and chemical stability. Chemically sintered layers of metal nanoparticles, such as Ag, Cu, Fe, Ni, and Co, have also shown orders of magnitude increase in electrical conductivity and improved environmental stability, compared to nontreated ones. Pertinent mechanisms involved in the chemical welding/sintering process have been discussed. Room-temperature welding and sintering of metal nanostructures demonstrated here may find widespread application in diverse fields, such as displays, deformable electronics, wearable heaters, and so forth.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanical Engineering