The reduction of the diameter of Bi nanowires below 10 nm has been an important target because of the theoretical prediction with regard to significant enhancement in thermoelectric performance by size reduction. In this study, we have demonstrated the usefulness of mesoporous silica with tunable pore size as a template for the preparation of thin Bi nanowires with diameters below 10 nm. Bi was deposited within the templates through a liquid phase deposition using hexane and 1,1,3,3-tetramethyldisiloxane as a solvent and reducing agent, respectively. Bundles of thin Bi nanowires with non-crystalline frameworks were successfully obtained after the template removal. The diameter was precisely controlled between about 6 nm and 9 nm. The judicious choices of mesoporous silica and deposition conditions are critical for the successful preparation. The reliable formation of such thin Bi nanowires reported here opens up exciting new possibilities.
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