Currently, the synthesis of nanomaterials relies on special inter-particle chemical and physical reactions, which restricts their development. However, stress-induced nanofabrication can effectively render arrays of nanomaterials uniform in length, diameter, and density.

A method was developed for making nanomaterials by applying pressure to three-dimensional nanoparticle assemblies, transforming them into compact, two-dimensional structures. Nanomaterials are in high demand, as they contain properties particular to their size and structure that are integral to the development of metamaterials. Metamaterials are solids that have properties not found in nature, and they offer innovative applications in nanoelectronics and nanophotonics.

This method applies two forms of pressure — hydrostatic and non-hydrostatic — on a metal film to create nanomaterial architectures without relying on chemical and physical reactions. Furthermore, when pressure is applied past a certain threshold, the nanoparticles are forced to compact, creating a new class of chemically stable structures that cannot be formed using current methodology. The amount of stress can be manipulated to produce the desired structure of the subsequent nanomaterial, whether that is a nanorod, nanowire, or a nanosheet. The ability to control the structure of a nanomaterial and its response to high pressure has greatly added to the knowledge of nanomaterials.

The method produces finer and cleaner results, and is easily integrated into manufacturing lines without the need for expensive or specialized equipment. It can be used to refine various metals, and produces no environmentally harmful residues.

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