Because of the small size of nanowires, surface tension during the manufacturing process pulls them together. This limits their usefulness and is why extremely high pressures are used to reduce the surface tension – a process which is difficult, expensive and not conducive to large-scale production.
Kirk Ziegler and co-workers, University of Florida, USA, have shown that field-induced changes to the surface tension are insufficient to reduce aggregation in nanowire array manufacture.
They used optical transmission through the nanowire array to monitor the aggregation process. Only minor changes were displayed during drying in a small electric field ( 100 V/m), confirming the suppression of aggregation.
- Eliminating Capillary Coalescence of Nanowire Arrays with Applied Electric Fields
J. J. Hill, K. Haller, B. Gelfand, K. J. Ziegler,
ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2010, 2.