Background: Silver nanowires (Ag-NWs) are promising as a kind of
novel conducting materials for the next generation nanodevice for space application
either in the form of interconnecting conducting NWs to integrate nanodevices
or for transparent electrodes for solar cell. In order to explore the possible
application of Ag-NWs for upper space, radiation hardness testing is important.
Methods: In this research work, total dose radiation tolerance of Ag-NWs under
proton environment is investigated. Ag-NWs were irradiated with proton ions in
MeV energy range. The dose of ions varies from 5x1015 to 1x1017 protons/cm2 and
its effects on morphology and structure of the Ag-NWs are studied by scanning
electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction respectively.
Results: It is observed that Ag-NWs remained stable under proton beam irradiation at the dose of
1x1017 protons/cm2 and high proton flux (1013 p/cm²/sec). Moreover, for the first time whole Ag-
NWs network are embedded into a glass and silicon substrates by proton beam irradiation and depth
of embedding increases with increase proton dose. At the dose of 7x1016 protons/cm2 Ag-NWs networks
are fully buried while morphology and structure of Ag-NWs remain stable. At a given energy
the flux plays a major role in mass transport. Burying of Ag-NWs is explained on the basis of ioninduced
viscous flow and thermal processes.
Conclusion: It is concluded that morphology and structure of Ag-NWs remain stable after irradiation
with MeV proton ions at different doses ranging from 5x1015 to 1x1017 protons/cm2. Whereas, at the
dose of 1x1017 protons/cm2 the proton irradiation reveals that the structure deterioration in the Ag-
NWs crystallinity from the nearly single to polycrystalline orientation. Moreover, Ag-NWs network
is buried into the substrate materials via proton beam irradiation.