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Silicon “nanowires” can be formed by chemical vapor deposition of Si onto Si substrates on which nanometer-scale, Ti-containing islands have been grown. At the growth temperatures used, the Ti-containing islands remain solid and anchored to the substrate, while the Si nanowires grow out from the islands, which remain at their bases. The nanowire growth mechanism, therefore, differs from the usual vapor-liquid-solid process and provides a potential route for the formation of oriented Si nanostructures or semiconductor-metal-semiconductor structures compatible with Si integrated circuits. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.