Date of Award

Winter 12-15-2014

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



Various additives are employed in the polyol synthesis of silver nanowires (Ag NWs), which are typically halide salts such as NaCl. A variety of mechanistic roles have been suggested for these additives. My research showed that the early addition of NaCl in the polyol synthesis of Ag NWs from AgNO3 in ethylene glycol results in the rapid formation of AgCl nanocubes, which induce the heterogeneous nucleation of metallic Ag upon their surfaces. Ag NWs subsequently grow from these nucleation sites. The conclusions are supported by studies using ex-situ generated AgCl nanocubes.

Additionally, the final mean silver nanowire diameter is found to be independent of the size of the heterogeneous nucleant, showing that the diameter is not significantly influenced by the nucleation event. Kinetics studies determine that nanowire diameter, length, and aspect ratio grow in parallel to one another and with the extent of the Ag+ reduction reaction, demonstrating that growth is reduction-rate limited. The results are interpreted to support nanowire growth by a surface-catalyzed reduction process occurring on all nanowire surfaces, and to exclude nanoparticle aggregation or Ostwald ripening as primary components of the growth mechanism.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

William E Buhro

Committee Members

William E Buhro, Victor Gruev, Richard A Loomis, Kevin D Moeller, Bryce Sadtler


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