Zinc oxide (ZnO) is a unique material that exhibits semiconducting, piezoelectric, and pyroelectric multiple properties. Using a solid-vapor phase thermal sublimation technique, nanocombs, nanorings, nanohelixes/nanosprings, nanobows, nanobelts, nanowires, and nanocages of ZnO have been synthesized under specific growth conditions. These unique nanostructures unambiguously demonstrate that ZnO is probably the richest family of nanostructures among all materials, both in structures and properties. The nanostructures could have novel applications in optoelectronics, sensors, transducers, and biomedical science because it is bio-safe.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(04)00286-X