Heterostructures consisting of semiconductors with controlled morphology and interfaces find applications in many fields. A range of axial, radial, and diameter-modulated nanostructures have been synthesized primarily using vapor phase methods. Here, we present a simple wet chemical routine to synthesize heterostructures of PbTe/Te using Te nanowires as templates. A morphology evolution study for the formation of these heterostructures has been performed. On the basis of these control experiments, a pathway for the formation of these nanostructures is proposed. Reduction of a Pb precursor to Pb on Te nanowire templates followed by interdiffusion of Pb/Te leads to the formation of a thin shell of PbTe on the Te wires. Controlled dewetting of the thin shell leads to the formation of cube-shaped PbTe that is periodically arranged on the Te wires. Using control experiments, we show that different reactions parameters like rate of addition of the reducing agent, concentration of Pb precursor and thickness of initial Te nanowire play a critical role in controlling the spacing between the PbTe cubes on the Te wires. Using simple surface energy arguments, we propose a mechanism for the formation of the hybrid. The principles presented are general and can be exploited for the synthesis of other nanoscale heterostructures.
- STEM-EDXS tomography