Structures and methods for the fabrication of ceramic nanostructures. Structures include metal particles, preferably comprising copper, disposed on a ceramic substrate. The structures are heated, preferably in the presence of microwaves, to a temperature that softens the metal particles and preferably forms a pool of molten ceramic under the softened metal particle. A nano-generator is created wherein ceramic material diffuses through the molten particle and forms ceramic nanostructures on a polar site of the metal particle. The nanostructures may comprise silica, alumina, titania, or compounds or mixtures thereof.