El Mel, A.A.; Buffiere, M.; Bouts, N.; Gautron, E.; Tessier, P.Y.; Henzler, K.; Guttmann, P.; Konstantinidis, S.; Bittencourt, C.; Snyders, R.: Growth control, structure, chemical state, and photoresponse of CuO-CdS core-shell heterostructure nanowires. Nanotechnology 24 (2013), p. 265603/1-11

The growth of single-crystal CuO nanowires by thermal annealing of copper thin films in air is studied. We show that the density, length, and diameter of the nanowires can be controlled by tuning the morphology and structure of the copper thin films deposited by DC magnetron sputtering. After identifying the optimal conditions for the growth of CuO nanowires, chemical bath deposition is employed to coat the CuO nanowires with CdS in order to form p–n nanojunction arrays. As revealed by high-resolution TEM analysis, the thickness of the polycrystalline CdS shell increases when decreasing the diameter of the CuO core for a given time of CdS deposition. Near-edge x-ray absorption fine-structure spectroscopy combined with transmission x-ray microscopy allows the chemical analysis of isolated nanowires. The absence of modification in the spectra at the Cu L and O K edges after the deposition of CdS on the CuO nanowires indicates that neither Cd nor S diffuse into the CuO phase. We further demonstrate that the core–shell nanowires exhibit the I–V characteristic of a resistor instead of a diode. The electrical behavior of the device was found to be photosensitive, since increasing the incident light intensity induces an increase in the collected electrical current.