This invention relates to the fabrication of nanowires for electrical and electronic applications. A method of growing silicon nanowires using an alumina template is disclosed whereby the aluminum forming the alumina is also used as the catalyst for growing the silicon nanowires in a VLS (CVD) process and as the semiconductor dopant. In addition, various techniques for masking off parts of the aluminum and alumina in order to maintain electrical isolation between device layers is disclosed.
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 The U.S. Government has a paid-up license in this invention and the right in limited circumstances to require the patent owner to license others on reasonable terms as provided for by the terms of Contract No. DOE-DE-FG02-07ER86313 awarded by The Department of Energy.