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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2013 Jan;5(1):72-9. doi: 10.1021/am3020718. Epub 2012 Dec 26.

High-aspect-ratio and highly ordered 15-nm porous alumina templates.

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  • 1IMM-Instituto de Microelectrónica de Madrid (CNM-CSIC), Tres Cantos, Spain.


Ordered anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) templates with pores <15 nm in diameter and an aspect ratio (length-to-diameter ratio) above 3 × 10(3) have been fabricated using a nonlithographic approach; specifically, by anodizing aluminum in an ethylene-glycol-containing sulfuric acid electrolyte. The pores are the smallest in diameter reported for a self-ordered AAO without pore aspect-ratio limitations and good ordering, which opens up the possibility of obtaining nanowire arrays in the quantum confinement regime that is of interest for efficient thermoelectric generators. The effect of the ethylene glycol addition on both the pore diameter and the ordering is evaluated and discussed. Moreover, 15-nm-diameter Bi(2)Te(3) and poly(3-hexyl thiophene) (P3HT) nanowires have been prepared using these AAO templates. As known, Bi(2)Te(3) is currently the most efficient thermoelectric bulk material for room-temperature operations and, according with theory, its Seebeck coefficient should be increased when it is confined to nanowires with diameters close to 10 nm. On the other hand, P3HT is one of the main candidates for integrating organic photovoltaic and thermoelectric devices, and its properties are also proposed to increase when it is confined to nanoscale structures, mainly due to molecular orientation effects.

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