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A scaleable synthesis of metal nanowires has been developed using ac electrodeposition into the pores of porous aluminum oxide (PAO) templates, through the resistive barrier layer. Gram quantities of high aspect-ratio Cu nanowires (25 nm in diameter by ∼20,000 nm in length) were liberated by dissolving the PAO film with sodium hydroxide solution. The agglomerated nanowires were dispersed in methanol by ultrasonication and collected by centrifugation or filtration. The nanowires were blended into amorphous polyamide by melt processing. The dispersion and percolation of the nanowires in the polymer was investigated by electron microscopy and conductivity measurements as a function of nanowire loading and processing route. Mechanical properties were evaluated by tensile testing of miniature dog bone specimens.
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