An efficient method for the fabrication of zinc (Zn) nanostructures (nanoneedles and nanofibers) of controllable density and morphology without any catalyst, hazardous chemicals or external heat supply has been investigated. By varying the ion irradiation time and the ion current density, morphological control and the density of Zn nanostructures were successfully achieved using a fast and viable ion irradiation technique. Scanning (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) results revealed that the sputtered surface was almost entirely covered with densely distributed conical and needle-like protrusions with linear shaped (sometimes curved) nanostructures (such as nanoneedles and nanofibers) with diameters and lengths of about 20–50 nm and several hundred nanometers, respectively. Detailed analysis of selected area electron diffraction (SAED) patterns with TEM analysis indicates that the Zn nanofibers were polycrystalline in nature. A possible mechanism of the formation of Zn nanostructures is briefly discussed. These aligned arrays of Zn nanoneedles/nanofibers could be a promising material for the fabrication of zinc oxide nanostructures by subsequent oxidation of Zn nanostructures and their future application in nanodevices. Thus, it is believed that this ion irradiation technique could open up a new approach for the fabrication of many kinds of nanomaterials of controllable density.
Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.