Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 10, 2019
Previous Article Next Article

Drift mechanism of the metal nanowires formation in liquid helium

Author affiliations


It is shown theoretically that the mechanism of the rapid coagulation of metal nanospheres into a nanowire in a quantum vortex proposed by E. B. Gordon et al. (Low Temp. Phys., 2010, 36, 590) could not be realized, due to the enormous heat release expelling the nanospheres from the vortex. Also, Gordon's hypothesis on nanowire formation in quantum vortices contradicts the observations that nanowires form above the λ-point (where no quantum vortices exist) and on superfluid helium's surface (parallel to it), which is always perpendicular to the quantum vortices. The nanowire formation process in bulk and dropwise liquid helium is described as a special case of aggregation controlled by diffusion in an external electric field. The nanosphere charging occurs due to the thermoelectric emission from their overheating and also laser ablation. The charged nanospheres attract neutral ones to minimize the electrostatic energy and are also attracted to elevations (field concentrators) on the conductive surfaces surrounding the experimental volume. Both processes lead to nanowire formation and drift prevails over diffusion in both cases. The described mechanism leads to the formation of self-similar anisometric structures in agreement with experimental data.

Graphical abstract: Drift mechanism of the metal nanowires formation in liquid helium

Back to tab navigation

Publication details

The article was received on 17 Jul 2018, accepted on 11 Feb 2019 and first published on 12 Feb 2019

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8CP04518F
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2019,21, 5771-5779

  •   Request permissions

    Drift mechanism of the metal nanowires formation in liquid helium

    S. V. Stovbun and A. A. Skoblin, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2019, 21, 5771
    DOI: 10.1039/C8CP04518F

Search articles by author