Instantaneous electrical breakdown measurements of GaN and Ag nanowires are performed by an in situ transmission electron microscopy method. Our results directly reveal the mechanism that typical thermally heated semiconductor nanowires break at the midpoint, while metallic nanowires breakdown near the two ends due to the stress induced by electromigration. The different breakdown mechanisms for the nanowires are caused by the different thermal and electrical properties of the materials.
- Electrical breakdown
- Joule heating