It was during 2004, a team of researchers in the University of Cambridge built some unusual structures using Silicon carbide. The team grew these structures using the chemical vapor deposition method. When Gallium Nitride powder was placed on silicon surface passing methane gas over the samples under certain temperature and pressure, the structures having a diameter of 1-2µm and 3-5µm were formed. These structures resembled trees and flowers. They were named as Nano bouquet, nano trees and nano flowers.
These stunning images were taken by Ghim Wei Ho, who was doing her doctorate in Nanotechnology at Cambridge University. The team said that each flower structure had an intertwined stem, a bulbous head that consist of a tight bundle of nano wires along with a single-catalyst particle found at the top end. It was said that the structure has complex mechanical and optical properties.
They have an interesting range of applications. At present, they are explored for being used as water repellant coatings for a new type of solar cell. They found the water droplets rolled away from the coatings when they were tilted for an angle of 5°. (Image Credits: Ghim Wei Ho)
Meanwhile, Recently, According to a research that was published in American Chemical Society`s ACS Nano, it’s been said that these nano flowers can be used to improve solar cells and other technologies. The team from North Carolina State University initially vaporized Germanium Sulphide powder and blew it to a cooler chamber where it got deposited as a thin sheet that was less than 30nm wide. The process is continued until a flower shape is formed with the sheets layered on each other.
(Image Credits: ACS Nano)
Germanium Sulphide, as a semiconductor is good in absorbing solar energy. More solar efficient cells can be formed with this non-toxic and cheap source. These flowers are expected to lengthen the life of certain batteries and super capacitors. This is one discovery that is indeed beautiful.