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Template-Assisted Growth of Regular Arrays of One Dimensional Nanostructures using Anodic Aluminum Oxide Membranes

Huaping Zhao, Fabian Grote, Feng Xu, Shikuan Yang and Yong Lei* Institute of Materialphysics and Center for Nanotechnology, University of Muenster, 48149 Muenster, Germany

One-dimensional (1D) nanostructures, such as nanowires, nanotubes, and nanobelts, represent attractive building blocks for various kinds of nanodevices due to their extremely attractive size-dependent properties as compared with their bulk equivalents. Self-assembled nanoporous anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) membranes containing high density of uniform cylindrical pores that are perpendicular to the surface of the materials and penetrate ist entire thickness offer an excellent platform for the fabrication of highly ordered and vertically aligned 1D nanostructures arrays for various applications.

Fabrication of AAO Membranes

The AAO membranes are produced by twostep anodization processes of high purity aluminum in certtain solutions. The resulting membranes contain cylindrical pores with uniform diameter of about 10 to 200 nm, which can be accurately tuned by the process parameters.

Metal 1D Nanostructures
AAO template offer an excellent platform for the reliable synthesis 1D metal nanowires and nanotubes with controlled dimensions without the need for additional surfactants, capping agents or stabilizers. One of the most popular methods is the AAO template-assisted electrodeposition. This method has produced a wide range of 1D transition metal nanostructures, particularly to noble metals.

Silver 1D nanowires arrays fabricated by AAO templateassisted electrodeposition

Metal Oxide 1D Nanostructures

AAO tempalte can be used to fabricate various metal oxide 1D nanostructures, such as ZnO, CuO, TiO2, MoO3/Mo2O5, MnO2, etc. There are mainly two methods, AAO template-assisted electro-deposition method and sol-gel with AAO template assisted method.

MnO2 1D nanowires arrays fabricated by AAO templateassisted electrodeposition

Organic 1D Nanostructures Salient Features of AAO Template

1. Controllable pore size (10 to 200 nm) and membrane thickness. 2. High thermal stability, without degration up to ~1000 C. 3. Highly transparent in the visible region of the optical spectrum. 4. Excellent compatiblity and low cost. AAO template-assisted methods for synthesis of organic and polymer 1D nanostructures: 1. Solution-based template wetting method. 2. Melting-recrystallization template wetting method. 3. Sublimation method. 4. Electrodeposition method. 5. Solvent annealing method.
Organic semiconductor 1D nanowires produced by solution-based AAO template wetting method

Potential Applications
One-dimensional (1D) nanostructure arrays fabricated using AAO template have well-controlled dimensions and composition. It represents a new class of intriguing system for investigating structure-property relationships and related applications, especially in electronic and opticalelectronic fields.