A. Borrás, M. Macías-Montero, P. Romero-Gómez, A.R. González-Elipe
Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 44 (2011) 174016
Plasma-related methods have been widely used in the fabrication of carbon nanotubes and nanofibres (NFs) and semiconducting inorganic nanowires (NWs). A natural progression of the research in the field of 1D nanostructures is the synthesis of multicomponent NWs and NFs. In this paper we review the state of the art of the fabrication by plasma methods of 1D heterostructures including applications and perspectives. Furthermore, recent developments on the use of metal seeds (Ag, Au, Pt) to obtain metal@oxide nanostructures are also extensively described. Results are shown for various metal substrates, either metal foils or supported nanoparticles/thin films of the metal where the effects of the size, surface coverage, percolation degree and thickness of the metal seeds have been systematically evaluated. The possibilities of the process are illustrated by the preparation of nanostructured films and supported NFs of different metal@oxides (Ag, Au and SiO2, TiO2, ZnO). Particularly, in the case of silver, the application of an oxygen plasma treatment prior to the deposition of the oxide was critical for efficiently controlling the growth of the 1D heterostructures. A phenomenological model is proposed to account for the thin-film nanostructuring and fibre formation by considering basic phenomena such as stress relaxation, inhomogeneities in the plasma sheath electrical field and the local disturbance of the oxide growth.