Atomic-size metal nanowires (NWs) display new physical and chemical effects, for example the quantum conductance. NWs can be usually generated by means of a simple experimental procedure: two metallic surfaces are put into contact and then they are retracted in a controlled way. During the last stages before the rupture, a wire containing a few atoms is created and its conductance can be measured simultaneously during the elongation process. In fact, this approach represents a scenario which allows us to study its conductance and mechanical properties.
In this seminar, the results associated to the study of the thermal effects on the NW atomic arrangement and the corresponding influence on quantum conductance and mechanical deformation will be presented. Fisrtly, I will present the study about the structural effects on quantum conductance as a function of temperature. This illustrates how thermal energy strongly affects the NW deformation and has substantial implications on the conductance. Secondly, I will present a study associated to mechanical elongation of ~ 1nm-wide gold nanorod. Here, we showed the nanorod size and shape play the important role in the nano-deformation. Finally, I will describe the atomistic aspects related to the formation of the smallest silver square-cross-section nanotube. This example illustrates that unexpected nanostructures can be found due to the effect of minimization of surface energy on mechanically-stretched NW's.