Electromechanical Properties of Nanowires
One dimensional nanostructures, nanowires and nanotubes, are envisioned as building blocks for future nanoelectronic devices. They exhibit remarkable mechanical properties such as high strength and increased elastic modulus. Furthermore, electromechanical-coupling effects like piezoelectricity and piezoresistivity are also enhanced at the nanoscale. Our research focuses on single nanowire studies of metallic and semiconducting nanowires. Using state-of-the-art experimental and computational techniques we probe the mechanical, electrical and electromechanical properties of materials such as gallium nitride (GaN), zinc oxide (ZnO), gold (Au) and silver (Ag). Experimental results from in-situ TEM testing and insights from atomistic simulations are combined to give a complete picture across a broad range of sizes and structures of the fundamental causes of size-effects in material properties. The fundamental results from our research should pave the way for applications of these materials in new-generation electrical interconnects, nanostructured materials and energy-harvesting devices.
Specific projects include: