• hybrid nanostructures;
  • ultrathin nanowires;
  • water splitting;
  • AuAg alloy;
  • Ag2S
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AuAg-Ag2S heterostructured nanowires consisting of periodic AuAg alloy and Ag2S nanocrytals are synthesized in a simple, one-pot reaction. After the AuAg alloy nanowire with a diameter of 2–3 nm is synthesized, it is converted to AuAg-Ag2S heterostructured nanowire by addition of sulfur. The diffusion of Au and Ag in the Ag2S nanocrystals and the subsequent Ostwald ripening process are the key reasons for the formation of heterostructured nanowires. This new type of hybrid nanostructure undergoes photoinduced charge separation and may have photocatalytic applications.