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Broad Beam-Induced Fragmentation and Joining of Tungsten Oxide Nanorods: Implications for Nanodevice Fabrication and the Development of Fusion Reactors

Rajbhar, M. K.; Möller, W.; Satpati, B.; Manju, U.; Chaudhary, Y. S.; Chatterjee, S.

In this work, for the first time, fragmentation and joining of tungsten oxide (WO3) nanorods induced by a broad ion beam are reported. Although at low energy (5 keV) and moderate ion fluence, nanorods fragment into smaller pieces along the length, at higher ion energies (50-100 keV), a contrary process occurs, which leads to the joining of the nanorods. A state-of-the-art ion-solid interaction simulation, namely, TRI3DYN, has been invoked to explore the possible mechanisms that reveal subtle contributions of surface defects, ion-beam mixing, and sputtering. High-resolution electron microscopy, photoluminescence study, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy support the observed results and proposed mechanisms. Such modifications have interesting effects on the electrical conductivity of the nanorod assembly. The change in sample color upon ion irradiation from initial white to yellow, light blue, deep blue, light green, and cyan shows an excellent and reversible chromatic response of tungsten oxide nanorods to irradiation. Such a property can be exploited to fabricate radiation sensors. The fragmentation and joining at different energy scales have essential implications in nanodevice fabrication through the bottom-up approach as well as for the development of fusion reactors.

Keywords: electrical conductivity; fusion reactor material; ion irradiation; nanofragmentation; nanojoining; radiation sensor; tungsten oxide nanorods; wettability

Publ.-Id: 31710