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Non-destructive detection of cross-sectional strain and defect structure in an individual Ag five-fold twinned nanowire by 3D electron diffraction mapping

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JournalScientific Reports
DateAccepted/In press - 14 Jun 2017
DateE-pub ahead of print - 24 Jul 2017
DatePublished (current) - 1 Dec 2017
Issue number1
Number of pages12
Early online date24/07/17
Original languageEnglish


Coherent x-ray diffraction investigations on Ag five-fold twinned nanowires (FTNWs) have drawn controversial conclusions concerning whether the intrinsic 7.35° angular gap could be compensated homogeneously through phase transformation or inhomogeneously by forming disclination strain field. In those studies, the x-ray techniques only provided an ensemble average of the structural information from all the Ag nanowires. Here, using three-dimensional (3D) electron diffraction mapping approach, we non-destructively explore the cross-sectional strain and the related strain-relief defect structures of an individual Ag FTNW with diameter about 30 nm. The quantitative analysis of the fine structure of intensity distribution combining with kinematic electron diffraction simulation confirms that for such a Ag FTNW, the intrinsic 7.35° angular deficiency results in an inhomogeneous strain field within each single crystalline segment consistent with the disclination model of stress-relief. Moreover, the five crystalline segments are found to be strained differently. Modeling analysis in combination with system energy calculation further indicates that the elastic strain energy within some crystalline segments, could be partially relieved by the creation of stacking fault layers near the twin boundaries. Our study demonstrates that 3D electron diffraction mapping is a powerful tool for the cross-sectional strain analysis of complex 1D nanostructures.

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© The Author(s) 2017

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