Controlled self-assembly of zero-dimensional gold nanoparticles and construction of complex gold nanostructures from these building blocks could significantly extend their applications in many fields. Carbon nanotubes are one of the most promising inorganic templates for this strategy because of their unique physical, chemical, and mechanical properties, which translate into numerous potential applications. Here we report the bottom-up synthesis of gold nanowires in aqueous solution through self-assembly of gold nanoparticles on single-walled carbon nanotubes followed by thermal-heating-induced nanowelding. We investigate the mechanism of this process by exploring different graphitic templates. The experimental work is assisted by computational studies that provide additional insight into the self-assembly and nanowelding mechanism. We also demonstrate the chemical sensitivity of the nanomaterial to parts-per-billion concentrations of hydrogen sulfide with potential applications in industrial safety and personal healthcare.
Times Cited: 28 Star, Alexander/C-3399-2013; Ding, Mengning/P-6354-2014 29