The November 23, 2003 issue of Nature Materials reports on researchers from Sandia National Laboratories making tiny, complicated shapes from zinc oxide. These shapes include arrays of vertically-aligned rods, flat disks and columns similar to stacks of coins.
The structures were grown by seeding a solution with zinc oxide nanoparticles. Different shapes were produced by changing the amount of citrate in the solution at different points during particle growth.
The nanostructures could be used for microelectronics, chemical and biological sensing, energy conversion and storage, light-emitting displays and drug delivery.