New techniques to directly grow metal oxide nanowire networks without the need for initial nanoparticle seed deposition or postsynthesis nanowire casting will bridge the gap between bottom-up formation and top-down processing for many electronic, photonic, energy storage, and conversion technologies. Whether etched top-down, or grown from catalyst nanoparticles bottom-up, nanowire growth relies on heterogeneous material seeds. Converting surface oxide films, ubiquitous in the microelectronics industry, to nanowires and nanowire networks by the incorporation of extra species through interdiffusion can provide an alternative deposition method. It is shown that solution-processed thin films of oxides can be converted and recrystallized into nanowires and networks of nanowires by solid-state interdiffusion of ionic species from a mechanically contacted donor substrate. NaVO3 nanowire networks on smooth Si/SiO2 and granular fluorine-doped tin oxide surfaces can be formed by low-temperature annealing of a Na diffusion species-containing donor glass to a solution-processed V2O5 thin film, where recrystallization drives nanowire growth according to the crystal habit of the new oxide phase. This technique illustrates a new method for the direct formation of complex metal oxide nanowires on technologically relevant substrates, from smooth semiconductors, to transparent conducting materials and interdigitated device structures.
Glynn, C., McNulty, D., Geaney, H., & O’Dwyer, C. (2016). Growing Oxide Nanowires and Nanowire Networks by Solid State Contact Diffusion into Solution-Processed Thin Films. Small, 12(43), 5954–5962. https://doi.org/10.1002/smll.201602346