The race of nanowires: Morphological instabilities and a control strategy

Sangwoo Shin, Talal T. Al-Housseiny, Beom Seok Kim, Hyung Hee Cho, Howard A. Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


The incomplete growth of nanowires that are synthesized by template-assisted electrodeposition presents a major challenge for nanowire-based devices targeting energy and electronic applications. In template-assisted electrodeposition, the growth of nanowires in the pores of the template is complex and unstable. Here we show theoretically and experimentally that the dynamics of this process is diffusion-limited, which results in a morphological instability driven by a race among nanowires. Moreover, we use our findings to devise a method to control the growth instability. By introducing a temperature gradient across the porous template, we manipulate ion diffusion in the pores, so that we can reduce the growth instability. This strategy significantly increases the length of nanowires. In addition to shedding light on a key nanotechnology, our results may provide fundamental insights into a variety of interfacial growth processes in materials science such as crystal growth and tissue growth in scaffolds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4395-4399
Number of pages5
JournalNano Letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 13 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science


  • Nanowires
  • diffusion
  • morphological instability
  • temperature gradient
  • template-assisted electrodeposition


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