Catalyst-free growth of one-dimensional zinc oxide (ZnO) nanowires is reported. ZnO nanowires were synthesized on ZnO buffer layers deposited on various-oriented sapphire substrates. Syntheses of ZnO buffer layers and nanowires were performed by ultraviolet pulsed-laser deposition. ZnO nanowire's number density was the lowest in the case of using m-cut sapphire substrates. ZnO nanowires grown on a-cut sapphire substrates had vertical alignment with distances of tens to hundreds of nanometers. On the other hand, ZnO nanowires grown on c-cut sapphire substrates had the biggest nucleation rate. The dependence of crystalline orientation of ZnO buffer layers on the orientation of sapphire substrates were investigated by electron back scatter diffraction measurement. From their results, the growth models of ZnO buffer layers were suggested and the variations in morphological properties of ZnO nanowires were discussed.
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