In some others, the metal nanoparticle acts only as the nucleation site and not as a catalyst Selleckchem GW-572016 for nanomaterial growth. In this case, the metal nanoparticles remain at the bottom of the nanomaterial during growth (‘base’ growth) [10, 15–17, 21]. In addition to this ‘base’ growth, one may also observe side branches growing
from the bottom of the nanostructures. The latter scenario often results in the formation of complete nanostructured networks such as nanowalls (NWLs) . Such structures are quasi-2D nanomaterials with potential applications in emerging technologies, including solar cells , sensors [23, 27], and piezoelectric nanogenerators . It has been shown that NWs and NWLs can also co-exist in a single synthesis batch . Kumar et al.  successfully demonstrated the growth of NWs, NWLs, and hybrid buy YAP-TEAD Inhibitor 1 nanowire-nanowall (NW-NWL) in which material morphology was optimized by careful control of the metal layer (Au) thickness. On the other hand, some reports have
shown that various ZnO nanostructures can also be produced through Idasanutlin purchase precise control of the temperature-activated Zn source flux during a vapor transport and condensation synthesis process . Despite these several reports of different ZnO nanostructure growth processes, the exact mechanism responsible for the evolution of the different nanostructures is still not fully understood. In this paper, we will present a detailed study of the growth and evolution of a diverse range of ZnO nanostructures
that can be grown on Au-coated 4H-SiC substrates. We will emphasize that VLS synthesis and its optimization is driven by Au layer thickness, growth temperature, and time. Finally, we will demonstrate that the diverse nanostructures obtained here can be attributed to the temperature-activated Zn cluster drift phenomenon on the SiC surface and, hence, can be controlled. Methods Experimental details The synthesis of the different ZnO nanostructures was carried out in a horizontal quartz DOK2 furnace [14, 21]. ZnO nanostructures were grown by carbothermal reduction of ZnO nanopowder  on (0001) 4H-SiC substrates. SiC was chosen to target a crystalline vertically oriented ZnO growth keeping the lattice mismatch as small as possible (<6 %). Indeed, it has been recently shown that, for energy harvesting applications, vertically c-axis oriented nanostructures such as NWs and NWLs are preferred over randomly oriented ones [7, 8, 10, 11]. Prior to nanomaterial synthesis, SiC substrates were coated with two different Au thicknesses (6 and 12 nm ±1 nm) using a magnetron sputtering system. Next, the Au-coated SiC substrates and the source material (ZnO and C at 1:1 weight ratio) were placed on top of an Alumina ‘boat.’ This boat was inserted close to the center of quartz tube inside the furnace. During all the process, an Ar ambient was maintained in the growth chamber, without any vacuum system.