Versatile method for template-free synthesis of single crystalline metal and metal alloy nanowires

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Nanoscale, 2016, 8 (5), pp. 2804 - 2810
Issue Date:
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© 2016 The Royal Society of Chemistry. Metal and metal alloy nanowires have applications ranging from spintronics to drug delivery, but high quality, high density single crystalline materials have been surprisingly difficult to fabricate. Here we report a versatile, template-free, self-assembly method for fabrication of single crystalline metal and metal alloy nanowires (Co, Ni, NiCo, CoFe, and NiFe) by reduction of metal nitride precursors formed in situ by reaction of metal salts with a nitrogen source. Thiol reduction of the metal nitrides to the metallic phase at 550-600 °C results in nanowire growth. In this process, sulfur acts as a uniaxial structure-directing agent, passivating the surface of the growing nanowires and preventing radial growth. The versatility of the method is demonstrated by achieving nanowire growth from gas-phase, solution-phase or a combination of gas- and solution-phase precursors. The fabrication method is suited to large-area CVD on a wide range of solid substrates.
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