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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 620475, 8 pages
Research Article

Metal-Catalyst-Free Synthesis and Characterization of Single-Crystalline Silicon Oxynitride Nanowires

1State Key Laboratory of Digital Manufacturing Equipment and Technology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China
2Wuhan National Laboratory for Optoelectronics, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China

Received 13 January 2012; Revised 1 April 2012; Accepted 3 April 2012

Academic Editor: Vo-Van Truong

Copyright © 2012 Shuang Xi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Large quantities of single-crystal silicon oxynitride nanowires with high N concentration have been synthesized directly on silicon substrate at 1200°C without using any metal catalyst. The diameter of these ternary nanowires is ranging from 10 to 180 nm with log-normal distribution, and the length of these nanowires varies from a few hundreds of micrometers to several millimeters. A vapor-solid mechanism was proposed to explain the growth of the nanowires. These nanowires are grown to form a disordered mat with an ultrabright white nonspecular appearance. The mat demonstrates highly diffusive reflectivity with the optical reflectivity of around 80% over the whole visible wavelength, which is comparable to the most brilliant white beetle scales found in nature. The whiteness might be resulted from the strong multiscattering of a large fraction of incident light on the disordered nanowire mat. These ultra-bright white nanowires could form as reflecting surface to meet the stringent requirements of bright-white light-emitting-diode lighting for higher optical efficiency. They can also find applications in diverse fields such as sensors, cosmetics, paints, and tooth whitening.