A method of forming a nanostructure at low temperatures. A substrate that is reactive with one of atomic oxygen and nitrogen is provided. A flux of neutral atoms of least one of nitrogen and oxygen is generated within a laser-sustained-discharge plasma source and a collimated beam of energetic neutral atoms and molecules is directed from the plasma source onto a surface of the substrate to form the nanostructure. The energetic neutral atoms and molecules in the plasma have an average kinetic energy in a range from about 1 eV to about 5 eV.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERAL RIGHTS
 This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC 52-06 NA 25396, awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.