Research Papers

Elastic Modulus Measurements on Large Diameter Nanowires Using a Nano-Assembled Platform

[+] Author and Article Information
Naveen K. R. Palapati

Department of Mechanical and
Nuclear Engineering,
Virginia Commonwealth University,
401 West Main Street,
Richmond, VA 23284
e-mail: palapatinkr@vcu.edu

Adrienne Muth

Department of Mechanical
and Nuclear Engineering,
Virginia Commonwealth University,
401 West Main Street,
Richmond, VA 23284
e-mail: mutha@vcu.edu

Yujie Zhu

Department of Chemical and
Biomolecular Engineering,
University of Maryland,
College Park, MD 20742
e-mail: yzhu@umd.edu

Chunsheng Wang

Department of Chemical and
Biomolecular Engineering,
University of Maryland,
College Park, MD 20742
e-mail: cswang@umd.edu

Arunkumar Subramanian

Department of Mechanical and
Nuclear Engineering,
Virginia Commonwealth University,
401 West Main Street,
Richmond, VA 23284
e-mail: asubramanian@vcu.edu

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received March 6, 2014; final manuscript received July 15, 2014; published online August 19, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Hsiao-Ying Shadow Huang.

J. Nanotechnol. Eng. Med 5(2), 021001 (Aug 19, 2014) (6 pages) Paper No: NANO-14-1020; doi: 10.1115/1.4028045 History: Received March 06, 2014; Revised July 15, 2014

This paper presents atomic force spectroscopy (AFM) results from large diameter nanowires (NWs), which range in radius from 150 nm to 300 nm, within a nano-assembled platform. The nanomechanical platform is constructed by assembling single NWs across pairs of gold nano-electrodes using dielectrophoresis and contains a short, suspended segment of the NW (in air) between the assembly electrodes. Atomic force microscope (AFM) force spectroscopy measurements are obtained by indenting the NW within this suspended segment and result in deformation of the NW involving a combination of both, bending and nano-indentation modes. This paper demonstrates the measurement technique using lithium iron phosphate NWs as a model system and presents a finite element model to extract the Young's modulus from nanomechanical data. The estimated Young's modulus of this material, which is an electrode material system of interest for next-generation lithium-ion batteries, was found to be diameter dependent and was observed to range in values between 100 MPa and 575 MPa.

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Fig. 1

Schematic of the DEP assembly process. (a) Growth of silicon nitride on a silicon substrate. (b) Definition of gold nano-electrodes. (c) Assembly of LiFePO4 NWs using AC dielectrophoresis. (d) Removal of chip from reservoir after assembly followed by a N2-gun blow-drying step.

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Fig. 2

Lithium iron phosphate NWs (LiFePO4 NWs). (a) SEM image of carbonized NWs from the synthesized sample. (b) and (c) TEM images of the NWs. (d) Powder XRD pattern.

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Fig. 3

(a)–(c) Representative SEM images of DEP assembled LiFePO4 NWs. (d) and (e) AFM images of NW devices, which clearly show that the NW is fully suspended in air in the region between the gold assembly electrodes. The gold electrodes also serve as mechanical anchors for the NW beam during AFM force spectroscopy measurements. (f) AFM section plot of a NW, indicating its diameter to be 571 nm.

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Fig. 4

(a) Static force versus deformation plot of a representative LiFePO4 NW device, which was obtained from AFM force spectroscopy data. While the experimental data points are shown using hollow squares, the linear fit from Ansys finite element computational models is shown using a black line (the NW radius and suspended length were 168 nm and 400 nm, respectively). (b) Side-view of the deformation profile of a representative NW, as obtained from Ansys finite element models. This image clearly shows the bending induced in the NW in the suspended region. The contact point location with the AFM tip is illustrated in this panel. (c) A 3D-view of the NW deformation profile (same NW as in panel (b)) clearly showing the localized probe-induced deformation of the NW surface at the point of contact with the AFM tip. The contact region of the AFM tip is shown in the inset with a zoomed-in image and the point of indentation is highlighted with a red arrow. (d) The extracted value of Young's modulus plotted as a function of NW radius.



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