Large-scale polyol synthesis of single-crystal bismuth nanowires and the role of NaOH in the synthesis process

Nanotechnology. 2008 Jul 2;19(26):265303. doi: 10.1088/0957-4484/19/26/265303. Epub 2008 May 19.


A modified polyol process is introduced for the production of single-crystal bismuth (Bi) nanowires with uniform diameters along each wire in relatively high yield. The appropriate amount of NaOH in the solution reacts with Bi(3+) to form water-soluble complexing ions BiO(2)(-). The tiny Bi nanoparticles formed at the initial stage could serve as seeds for the subsequent growth of Bi nanostructures in the refluxing process with the aid of PVP. We find that the amount of NaOH determines the reduction rate of BiO(2)(-), which influences the morphologies of the synthesized Bi nanostructures. High reduction rates result in nanowires and nanoparticles, while low reduction rates result in nanoplates.