Linear heterostructured Ni2Si/Si nanowires with abrupt interfaces synthesised in solution†
Herein, we report a novel approach to form axial heterostructure nanowires composed of linearly distinct Ni silicide (Ni2Si) and Si segments via a one-pot solution synthesis method. Initially, Si nanowires are grown using Au seeds deposited on a Ni substrate with the Si delivery in the solution phase using a liquid phenylsilane precursor. Ni silicide then forms axially along the wires through progressive Ni diffusion from the growth substrate, with a distinct transition between the silicide and pure Si segments. The interfacial abruptness and chemical composition of the heterostructure nanowires was analysed through transmission electron microscopy, electron diffraction, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, aberration corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy and atomically resolved electron energy loss spectroscopy. The method represents a versatile approach for the formation of complex axial NW heterostructures and could be extended to other metal silicide or analogous metal germanide systems.