• CdSe nanowires;
  • Bi nanoparticles


Semiconductor nanowires prepared by wet chemical methods are a relatively new field of 1D electronic systems, where the dimensions can be controlled by changing the reaction parameters using solution chemistry. Here, the solution–liquid–solid approach where the nanowire growth is governed by low-melting-point catalyst particles, such as Bi nanocrystals, is presented. In particular, the focus is on the preparation and characterization of CdSe nanowires, a material which serves a prototype structure for many kinds of low dimensional semiconductor systems. To investigate the influence of different reaction parameters on the structural and optical properties of the nanowires, a comprehensive synthetic study is presented, and the results are compared with those reported in literature. How the interplay between different reaction parameters affects the diameter, length, crystal structure, and the optical properties of the resultant nanowires are demonstrated. The structural properties are mainly determined by competing reaction pathways, such as the growth of Bi nanocatalysts, the formation and catalytic growth of nanowires, and the formation and uncatalytic growth of quantum dots. Systematic variation of the reaction parameters (e.g., molecular precursors, concentration and concentration ratios, organic ligands, or reaction time, and temperature) enables control of the nanowire diameter from 6 to 33 nm, while their length can be adjusted between several tens of nanometers and tens of micrometers. The obtained CdSe nanowires exhibit an admixture of wurtzite (W) and zinc blende (ZB) structure, which is investigated by X-ray diffraction. The diameter-dependent band gaps of these nanowires can be varied between 650 and 700 nm while their fluorescence intensities are mainly governed by the Cd/Se precursor ratio and the ligands used.