Scalable flame synthesis of SiO2 nanowires: Dynamics of growth

Antonio Tricoli*, Marco Righettoni, Frank Krumeich, Wendelin J. Stark, Sotiris E. Pratsinis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Silica nanowire arrays were grown directly onto plain glass substrates by scalable flame spray pyrolysis of organometallic solutions (hexamethyldisiloxane or tetraethyl orthosilicate). The silicon dioxide films consisted of a network of interwoven nanowires from a few to several hundred nanometres long (depending on the process conditions) and about 20 nm in diameter, as determined by scanning electron microscopy. These films were formed rapidly (within 10-20 s) at high growth rates (ca 11-30 nm s-1) by chemical vapour deposition (surface growth) at ambient conditions on the glass substrate as determined by thermophoretic sampling of the flame aerosol and microscopy. In contrast, on high purity quartz nearly no nanowires were grown while on steel substrates porous SiO2 films were formed. Functionalization with perfluorooctyl triethoxysilane converted the nanowire surface from super-hydrophilic to hydrophobic. Additionally, their hermetic coating by thin carbon layers was demonstrated also revealing their potential as substrates for synthesis of other functional 1D composite structures. This approach is a significant step towards large scale synthesis of SiO2 nanowires facilitating their utilization in several applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number465604
Issue number46
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


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