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Optomechanics of Hard Nanomaterials

Harold S. Park's picture

Surface Plasmon Resonance-Induced Stiffening of Silver Nanowires

We report the results of a computational, atomistic electrodynamics study of the effects of electromagnetic waves on the mechanical properties, and specifically the Young's modulus of silver nanowires.  We find that the Young's modulus of the nanowires is strongly dependent on the optical excitation energy, with a peak enhancement occurring at the localized surface plasmon resonance frequency.  When excited at the plasmon resonance frequency, the Young's modulus is found to increase linearly with increasing nanowire aspect ratio, with a stiffening of nearly 15% for a 2 nm cross section silver nanowire with an aspect ratio of 3.5.  Furthermore, our results suggest that this plasmon resonance-induced stiffening is stronger for larger diameter nanowires for a given aspect ratio. Our study demonstrates a novel approach to actively tailoring and enhancing the mechanical properties of metal nanowires.



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