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Engineers Weld Nanowires With Light

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image A titled, cross-sectional scanning electron microscope image of plasmonically welded nanowires of silver. (Credit: Mark Brongersma, Stanford)

At the nano level, researchers at Stanford have discovered a new way to weld together meshes of tiny wires.

Their work could lead to innovative electronics and solar applications. To succeed, they called upon plasmonics.

One area of intensive research at the nanoscale is the creation of electrically conductive meshes made of metal nanowires. Promising exceptional electrical throughput, low cost and easy processing, engineers foresee a day when such meshes are common in new generations of touch-screens, video displays, light-emitting diodes and thin-film solar cells.

Standing in the way, however, is a major engineering hurdle: In processing, these delicate meshes must be heated or pressed to unite the crisscross pattern of nanowires that form the mesh, damaging them in the process.

For more on this article: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120206092633.htm

Source: Science Daily / University of Toronto

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