Electrical Breakdown of Nanowires

Jiong Zhao, Hongyu Sun, Sheng Dai, Yan Wang, Jing Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNano letters
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)4647-4651
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Nanowires
  • Electrical breakdown
  • Joule heating
  • Electromigration


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