After spending close to a decade examining the structure of nanowires made of pure silver, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have discovered a set of unusual behaviors in nanocrystals with a strained, five-fold symmetry formed by “twinning” in the crystal structure. The twinned crystals’ unusual pentagonal symmetry and complicated structures distinguish them from the cubic crystalline lattices typical of many silver nanoparticles.
Above: A high-resolution transmission electron microscopy image of the core of a single silver nanowire. The scale bar represents 5 nm in length. The image was taken on the Argonne Chromatic Aberration-corrected TEM (ACAT) machine.
Image courtesy Argonne National Laboratory