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Nat Commun. 2014 Oct 24;5:5130. doi: 10.1038/ncomms6130.

Ordered three-dimensional interconnected nanoarchitectures in anodic porous alumina.

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Instituto de Microelectrónica de Madrid (IMM-CSIC), Calle de Isaac Newton 8, Tres Cantos, 28760 Madrid, Spain.
Instituto de Cerámica y Vidrio (ICV-CSIC), Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain.


Three-dimensional (3D) nanostructures combine properties of nanoscale materials with the advantages of being macro-sized pieces when the time comes to manipulate, measure their properties or make a device. However, the amount of compounds with the ability to self-organize in ordered 3D nanostructures is limited. Therefore, template-based fabrication strategies become the key approach towards 3D nanostructures. Here we report the simple fabrication of a template based on anodic aluminium oxide, having a well-defined, ordered, tunable, homogeneous 3D nanotubular network in the sub 100-nm range. The 3D templates are then employed to achieve 3D, ordered nanowire networks in Bi2Te3 and polystyrene. Finally, we demonstrate the photonic crystal behaviour of both the template and the polystyrene 3D nanostructure. Our approach may establish the foundations for future high-throughput, cheap, photonic materials and devices made of simple commodity plastics, metals and semiconductors.

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