Fabrication of single-crystal tin nanowires by hydraulic pressure injection
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Tin (Sn) nanowires, with 15 and 60 nm average diameter and up to 10 m in length, were fabricated by an injection process using a hydraulic pressure method. The Sn melt was injected into an anodic aluminium oxide (AAO) template and solidified to form nanowires. By back etching the aluminium substrate and barrier layer, the nanowire array ends were partially exposed from the bottom face of the AAO template. The filling ratio of nanowires inside and through the thickness of the AAO template was found to be close to 100%. The nanowires were also found to be dense and continuous with uniform diameter throughout their length. Transmission electron microscope (TEM) and x-ray diffraction (XRD) studies on the 60 nm diameter nanowires revealed that the nanowires were single crystals with body-centred-tetragonal (bct) structure predominantly growing along the  direction. The current method of synthesizing nanowires is straightforward, low-cost and suitable for low-melting point (<650 C) metals including low-melting point alloys with stoichiometric composition. 2006 IOP Publishing Ltd.