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Concept: Nanowire


In this work, we report a direct synthesis of vertically aligned ZnO nanowires on fluorine-doped tin oxide-coated substrates using the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) method. ZnO nanowires with a length of more than 30 μm were synthesized, and dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) based on the as-grown nanowires were fabricated, which showed improvement of the device performance compared to those fabricated using transferred ZnO nanowires. Dependence of the cell performance on nanowire length and annealing temperature was also examined. This synthesis method provided a straightforward, one-step CVD process to grow relatively long ZnO nanowires and avoided subsequent nanowire transfer process, which simplified DSSC fabrication and improved cell performance.

Concepts: Chromosome, Chemical reaction, Nanowire, Solar cell, Photovoltaics, Titanium dioxide, Dye-sensitized solar cell, Chemical vapor deposition


We attempted to control the incorporation of twin boundaries in self-catalyzed GaAs nanowires (NWs). Self-catalyzed GaAs NWs were grown on a Si substrate under various arsenic pressures using molecular beam epitaxy and the vapor-liquid-solid method. When the arsenic flux is low, wurtzite structures are dominant in the GaAs NWs. On the other hand, zinc blende structures become dominant as the arsenic flux rises. We discussed this phenomenon on the basis of thermodynamics and examined the probability of twin-boundary formation in detail.

Concepts: Mineral, Zinc, Gallium arsenide, Nanowire, Molecular beam epitaxy, Sphalerite, Vapor-liquid-solid method, Gallium


Semiconductor nanowires with both nano- and micrometre dimensions have been used as effective materials for artificial photosynthesis; however, a single synthesis approach to provide rational control over the macroscopic morphology, which can allow for the high-throughput screening of photocatalytic performance, and carrier transfer between oxide and sulphide nanostructures has been poorly known. Our recent findings indicate that a single parameter, Nb foil thickness, in a vapor-phase synthesis method can alter the macroscopic morphology of resulting Nb2O5 nanowires. Thick Nb foil results in a free-standing Nb2O5 film, whereas a thinner foil leads to fragmentation to give a powder. During the synthesis process, a Rh dopant was provided through metal-organic chemical vapor deposition to reduce the Nb2O5 energy gap. Upon irradiation with visible light (λ > 440 nm), the free-standing nanowire film [Nb2O5:Rh-NW(F)] showed photoanodic current with a Faradaic efficiency of 99% for O2 evolution. Under identical irradiation conditions, the powdered counterpart [Nb2O5:Rh-NW(P)] showed activity for O2 evolution in the presence of an electron acceptor. The poor water-reduction ability was greatly enhanced by the Au-catalysed vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) growth of H2-evolving CdS onto the reduction sites of Nb2O5:Rh-NW(P) [Au/CdS/Nb2O5:Rh-NW(P)].

Concepts: Photosynthesis, Light, Electrochemistry, Nanowire, Solar cell, Chemical vapor deposition, Electron acceptor, Vapor-liquid-solid method


Vertical arrays of ZnO nanowires can decouple light absorption from carrier collection in PbS quantum dot solar cells and increase power conversion efficiencies by 35%. The resulting ordered bulk heterojunction devices achieve short-circuit current densities in excess of 20 mA cm(-2) and efficiencies of up to 4.9%.

Concepts: Photon, Energy, Photoelectric effect, Quantum dot, Nanowire, Solar cell, Absorption, Band gap


The electrostatic alignment and directed assembly of semiconductor nanowires into macroscopic, centimeter-long yarns is demonstrated. Different morphologies can be produced, including longitudinally segmented/graded yarns or mixed composition fibers. Nanowire yarns display long range photoconductivities and open up exciting opportunities for potential use in future nanowire-based textiles or in solar photovoltaics.

Concepts: Energy, Nanowire, Solar cell, Photovoltaics, Solar energy, Photovoltaic module, Photovoltaic array, Waldpolenz Solar Park


Recently, silver nanowires (AgNWs) have attracted considerable interest for their potential applications in flexible transparent conductive films (TCFs). One challenge for commercialization of AgNW-based TCF is low conductivity and stability caused by weak adhesion forces between AgNWs and substrate. Here, we report a highly bendable, conductive and transparent silver nanowire (AgNW) film, which was consisted of the underlying poly(diallyldimethyl-ammonium chloride) (PDDA) and AgNW composite bottom layer and a top layer-by-layer (LbL) assembled graphene oxide (GO) and PDDA over coating layer (OCL). We demonstrated that PDDA could increase the adhesion between AgNW and substrate to form a uniform AgNW network, and could also serve to improve the stability of GO OCL. Hence a highly bendable, conductive, and transparent AgNW-PDDA-GO composite TCF on a poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) substrate with Rs ≈ 10 Ω/sq and T ≈ 91% could be made by an all solution processable method under room temperature. In addition, our AgNW-PDDA-GO composite TCF is stable without degradation after the exposure to H2S gas or sonication.

Concepts: Nanowire, Carbon nanotube, Graphene, Solar cell, Hydrogen sulfide, Electrical conductivity, Film, Adhesion


Down to the wire: Three-dimensional interconnected Si-based nanowires are produced through the combination of thermal decomposition of SiO and a metal-catalyzed nanowire growth process. This low-cost and scalable approach provides a promising candidate for high-capacity anodes in lithium-ion batteries.

Concepts: Nanowire, Rechargeable battery, Lithium-ion battery, Lithium-ion polymer battery, Nanowire battery, Nickel-metal hydride battery, Nickel-cadmium battery, Lithium iron phosphate battery


For the first time, the AuAg-Ag2S heterostructured nanowires consisting of periodic AuAg alloy and Ag2S nanocrytals are synthesized in a simple, one-pot reaction. After the AuAg alloy nanowire with diameter of 2-3 nm is synthesized, it is converted to AuAg-Ag2S heterostructured nanowire by addition of sulfur. The diffusion of Au and Ag in the Ag2S nanocrystals based on the substitutional-interstitial diffusion mechanism and the subsequent Ostwald ripening process are the key reasons for the formation of heterostructured nanowires. The obtained AuAg-Ag2S heter-ostructured nanowires exhibit stability against ripening be-cause of the kinetically prohibited Ostwald ripening process. This new type of hybrid nanostructure undergoes photoinduced charge separation and may have photocatalytic applications.

Concepts: Chemical synthesis, Nanowire, The Key, Silver, One-pot synthesis, Ostwald ripening, Ripening, Wilhelm Ostwald


Light-emitting conjugated polymer nanowires are vertically grown and remotely manipulated into a freestanding straight or curved structure in three-dimension. This approach enabled us to eliminate substrate coupling, a critical issue in nanowire photonics in the past decade. We for the first time accomplished characterization of propagation and bending losses of nanowires completely decoupled from a substrate.

Concepts: Time, Nanowire, Nanoelectronics


We demonstrate that the optoelectronic properties of percolating thin films of silver nanowires (AgNWs) are predominantly dependent upon the length distribution of the constituent AgNWs. A generalized expression is derived to describe the dependence of both sheet resistance and optical transmission on this distribution. We experimentally validate the relationship using ultrasonication to controllably vary the length distribution. These results have major implications where nanowire-based films are a desirable material for transparent conductor applications; in particular when application-specific performance criteria must be met. It is of particular interest to have a simple method to generalize the properties of bulk films from an understanding of the base material, as this will speed up the optimisation process. It is anticipated that these results may aid in the adoption of nanowire films in industry, for applications such as touch sensors or photovoltaic electrode structures.

Concepts: Chemistry, Economics, Semiconductor, Nanowire, Solar cell, Dependency, Nanoelectronics, Generalization