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Volume 86 Issue 18 | p. 11 | News of The Week
Issue Date: May 5, 2008

A New Twist On Nanowire Growth Leads To Stunning Structures

Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Nano SCENE
Credit: Science ©2008
8618NOTW7_nanotreecxd_opt
 
Credit: Science ©2008

Nanowires don't grow on trees, but they can grow into tree-shaped objects, such as this stunning lead sulfide structure created by chemistry professor Song Jin's group at the University of Wisconsin (Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1157131). While most nanowires sprout from catalyst seeds, the "trunks" of Jin's nanotrees form via a new mechanism of nanowire growth that's driven by screwlike dislocations in the PbS crystal. These defects, Jin says, create "self-perpetuating spiral steps for atoms to settle on and cause the crystal lattice to twist." Nanowire "branches" grow off this twisting central rod via the more common catalyst-based mechanism. "When this new mechanism is well understood and well controlled, more elaborate and complex nanostructures can be rationally prepared, many of which could have interesting applications," Jin says.

 
Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © American Chemical Society