Date Published:JAN, 2014
The welding and sintering of nanomaterials is relevant, for example, to form electrical contacts between metallic particles in printed electronic devices. Usually the welding of nanoparticles is achieved at high temperatures. Here we find that merging of two different metals, silver and gold nanoparticles, occurs on contact at room temperature. The merging process was investigated by experimental and molecular dynamics simulations. We discovered that the merging of these particles is driven by selective wettability of silver nanoparticles, independent of their size and shape (spheres or rods); silver behaves as a soft matter, whereas gold as a hard surface being wetted and retaining its original morphology. During that process, the silver atoms move towards the surface of the Au nanoparticles and wrap the Au nanoparticles in a pulling up-like process, leading to the wetting of Au nanoparticles.