Structure of assemblies of metal nanowires in mesoporous alumina membranes studied by EXAFS, XANES, X-ray diffraction and SAXS

Benfield, R.E. and Grandjean, D. and Dore, J.C. and Esfahanian, H. and Wu, Z.H. and Kroll, M. and Geerkens, M. and Schmid, G. (2003) Structure of assemblies of metal nanowires in mesoporous alumina membranes studied by EXAFS, XANES, X-ray diffraction and SAXS. Faraday Discuss . pp. 327-342. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Mesoporous alumina membranes ("anodic aluminium oxide", or "AAO") are made by anodic oxidation of aluminium metal. These membranes contain hexagonal arrays of parallel non-intersecting cylindrical pores perpendicular to the membrane surface. By varying the anodisation voltage, the pore diameters are controllable within the range 5-250 nm. We have used AAO membranes as templates for the electrochemical deposition of metals within the pores to produce nanowires. These represent assemblies of one-dimensional quantum wires with prospective applications in electronic, optoelectronic and magnetic devices. Detailed characterisation of the structures of these nanowire assemblies on a variety of length scales is essential to understand their physical properties and evaluate their possible applications. We have used EXAFS, XANES, WAXS, high energy X-ray diffraction and SAXS to study their structure and bonding. In this paper we report the results of our studies of four different nanowire systems supported in AAO membranes. These are the ferromagnetic metals iron and cobalt, the superconducting metal tin, and the semiconductor gallium nitride. Iron nanowires in pores of diameter over the range 12 nm-72 nm are structurally very similar to bcc bulk iron. They have a strong preferred orientation within the alumina pores. Their XANES shows significant differences from that of bulk iron, showing that the electronic structure of the iron nanowires depends systematically on their diameter. Cobalt nanowires are composed of a mixture of hcp and fee phases, but the ratio of the two phases does not depend in a simple way on the pore diameter or preparation conditions. In bulk cobalt, the fee beta-phase is normally stable only at high temperatures. Strong preferred orientation of the c-axis in the pores was found. Tin nanowires in alumina membranes with pores diameters between 12 ran and 72 run have a tetragonal beta-structure at ambient temperature and also at 80 K. Magnetic susceptibility measurements show that they are diamagnetic, and become superconducting at the same temperature as bulk tin (3.7 K). Gallium nitride nanowires have been prepared in alumina membranes with pore diameter 24 nm by a novel method. Gallium nitrate was deposited in the pores from aqueous solution and thermolysed at 1000degrees C to form Ga2O3, which was reacted with ammonia at 1000degrees C. The GaN nanowires have the wurtzite structure. Preparation at 1150degreesC led to the incorporation of aluminium in the GaN. The mesoscopic ordering of the pores in the AAO membranes and their filling by metal nanowires has been studied by SAXS, which shows patterns of Bragg peaks arising from the pore arrays. Additionally, the cobalt nanowires have been the subject of an initial ASAXS study.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science
Divisions: Faculties > Science Technology and Medical Studies > School of Physical Sciences
Depositing User: Maggie Francis
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2009 16:40
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2009 16:40
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