Arrays of indefinitely long uniform nanowires and nanotubes
Nature Publishing Group
494 - 501
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Nanowires are arguably the most studied nanomaterial model to make functional devices and arrays. Although there is remarkable maturity in the chemical synthesis of complex nanowire structures, their integration and interfacing to macro systems with high yields and repeatability still require elaborate aligning, positioning and interfacing and post-synthesis techniques. Top-down fabrication methods for nanowire production, such as lithography and electrospinning, have not enjoyed comparable growth. Here we report a new thermal size-reduction process to produce well-ordered, globally oriented, indefinitely long nanowire and nanotube arrays with different materials. The new technique involves iterative co-drawing of hermetically sealed multimaterials in compatible polymer matrices similar to fibre drawing. Globally oriented, endlessly parallel, axially and radially uniform semiconducting and piezoelectric nanowire and nanotube arrays hundreds of metres long, with nanowire diameters less than 15ĝ€‰nm, are obtained. The resulting nanostructures are sealed inside a flexible substrate, facilitating the handling of and electrical contacting to the nanowires. Inexpensive, high-throughput, multimaterial nanowire arrays pave the way for applications including nanowire-based large-area flexible sensor platforms, phase-changememory, nanostructure-enhanced photovoltaics, semiconductor nanophotonics, dielectric metamaterials,linear and nonlinear photonics and nanowire-enabled high-performance composites. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.