Boron carbide nanowires with uniform carbon nitride coating layers were synthesized on a silicon substrate using a simple thermal process. The structure and morphology of the as-synthesized nanowires were characterized using x-ray diffraction, scanning and transmission electron microscopy and electron energy loss spectroscopy. A correlation between the surface smoothness of the nanowire sidewalls and their lateral sizes has been observed and it is a consequence of the anisotropic formation of the coating layers. A growth mechanism is also proposed for these growth phenomena.
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