Simultaneous Synthesis and Assembly (via welding) of Metal Silicide Nanowires: 

In this project, we have developed a solid-state phase transformation strategy for the simultaneous synthesis and assembly via welding, of metal silicide nanowires. More specifically, we have tuned the nucleation and growth steps involved in the phase transformation of silicon nanowires into Mg2Si nanowires. This allowed us to phase transform pre-synthesized single-crystalline silicon nanowires into single-crystalline Mg2Si nanowires. In the second phase of this project, we have extended this solid-state phase transformation strategy and phase transformed nanoparticle decorated silicon nanowires into welded Mg2Si nanowire networks. These welded Mg2Si nanowire networks have single-crystalline Mg2Si nanowires connected together through Mg2Si bridges. The welded Mg2Si nanowire networks do not have any insulating MgO at the nanowire interfaces and therefore have highways for electron transport through the assemblies. This makes them ideal building blocks for thermoelectrics fabrication.

A schematic representing the steps involved in the synthesis and welding of single-crystalline Mg2Si nanowires for the formation of Mg2Si nanowire networks. Chemistry of Materials, 26, 2814, 2014