Chemical design of inorganic nanowires, nanotubes and nanowire networks
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Inorganic nanowires are expected to play a central role in the re-engineering of products with applications in composites, thin films, nanodispersions, energy conversion devices, sensors, nanoelectronic devices and optics. The synthesis of materials at the nanoscale might also help in the discovery of new phases with interesting properties. However, the synthesis strategies for inorganic nanowires is quite limited and have not reached the level of maturity needed for either bulk manufacturing or for controlling nanowire characteristics such as sub 10 nm diameters and different growth directions. In this regard, we report several synthesis strategies that potentially offer in-situ control over the resulting nanowire characteristics such as size, growth direction and an ability to form two-dimensional networks. The techniques described here could be scaled up easily for bulk production of various nanostructures. Our preliminary results suggest that the nanowires form stable dispersions in both organic and aqueous solvents compared to nanoparticles of the same material.