Highly ordered uniform single-crystal Bi nanowires: fabrication and characterization.
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A mechanical pressure injection technique has been used to fabricate uniform bismuth (Bi) nanowires in the pores of an anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) template. The AAO template was prepared from general purity aluminum by a two-step anodization followed by heat treatment to achieve highly ordered nanochannels. The nanowires were then fabricated by an injection technique whereby the molten Bi was injected into the AAO template using a hydraulic pressure method. The Bi nanowires prepared by this method were found to be dense and continuous with uniform diameter throughout the length. Electron diffraction experiments using the transmission electron microscope on cross-sectional and free-standing longitudinal Bi nanowires showed that the majority of the individual nanowires were single crystalline, with preferred orientation of growth along the  zone axis of the pseudo-cubic structure. The work presented here provides an inexpensive and effective way of fabricating highly ordered single-crystalline Bi nanowires, with uniform size distributions.