Stability and conductivity of self assembled wires in a transverse electric field

C. Stephenson, A. Hubler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Self assembling wire networks typically evolve to minimize the resistance across electrical contacts which are frequently used in a manner comparable to Hebbian learning. In this work, we demonstrate that electrical fields can also be used to cause an increase in the resistance of the wire network. We show that if such a wire is exposed to a transverse electric field, the wire is deformed in a way that depends on it's tensile strength. We measure the wire resistance as a function of transverse field for several field strengths and show that by deforming the wire, the amplitude of the resulting shape can be modified in a controllable fashion. At a critical value of the transverse field, we show that the wire loses stability. At this point we observe thresholding behavior in that the resistance increases abruptly to a maximum value and the wire is destroyed. This thresholding behavior suggests that self assembled wires may be manipulated via an transverse electric field and demonstrates that a mechanism exists for the destruction of undesirable connections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number15044
JournalScientific reports
StatePublished - Oct 14 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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