Integrating vertically aligned nanowires (NWs) on a functional substrate is important for the application of NWs in wafer scale assemblies and functional devices. However, vertically aligned NWs via the current epitaxial growth route can only be prepared on crystalline wafers. A convenient method is thus presented to overcome NW substrate limitations. Liquid metal is proposed to serve as a substrate for the initial growth of vertically aligned NWs. NWs could then be harvested from the growth substrate and integrated with functional substrates. Fabricated vertically aligned silicon NWs (SiNWs) were grown on molten Sn and then integrated into a flexible transparent poly(dimethylsiloxane) film to obtain a SiNW/functional substrate device. The device showed enhanced visible-light absorption ability and refreshable visible-light bactericidal activities with a bacterial reduction rate of close to 100%, indicating that growth with molten metal as a substrate could be a promising approach for extending the function and application of NWs.
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