Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name


First Advisor

Da Deng


It is still a challenging task to develop simple methods for facile synthesis of functional nanostructures on substrates under mild conditions without using expensive instruments. We have successfully developed a bio-inspired method using simple diaphragm-assisted system to synthesize functional nanostructures on various substrates under mild conditions. We have systematically studied the effects of experimental parameters on the formation of nanostructures under controlled conditions. The fundamental mechanism involved has been systematically studied and revealed. By growing the unique networks of nanostructures on a piece of substrate, a double-rough surface, with structures at both nanoscale and microscale, has been achieved, showing interesting roughness-induced superhydrophobicity in air and superoleophobicity in water. The double rough substrates will find important environmental applications. Additionally, nanostructures formed on substrates have been used as integrated and binder-free electrodes for energy storage. The unique structures with a large exposed surface enable the electrodes to demonstrate dramatically improved performances. Moreover, some chemically active substrates were used to build up composite materials to enhance their applications. The method and ideas outlined in the dissertation, based on diaphragm-assisted systems, will have impacts, in principle, on the synthesis of numerous functional materials or precursors under mild conditions.