Background: Recent advances in nanotechnology make novel shapes of nanostructured materials with novel physicochemical properties. Different kinds of materials including carbon, metals, alloys, metal oxides, conducting polymers, metal chalcogenides, pnictides and fluorides have been synthesized with small size of <100 nm with shapes resembled to the natural flowers. The objective of this review is to provide a broad overview of the synthesis strategies, effects of different parameters on the morphology of nanoflowers, and their applications.
Methods: A comprehensive search to assess the current evidence for the synthesis routs of nanoflowers and applications was conducted. 487 studies became selected and the quality of papers were appraised and categorized according to type of nanomaterials. Within each section, the nanomaterials addressed specifically. In addition, recent patents were reviewed in a separate section.
Results: The nanoflowers exhibited unique properties which were utilized in the design of efficient applications. These nanostructures can be processed with different methods. The configuration of flower-like nanostructures can be controlled by altering experimental parameters, such as the precursor's ratio, temperature and reaction time. Despite the huge efforts to control and understand the growth mechanism of these nanostructures, some fundamental phenomena are still not well understood. Investigation of the fundamental effects of size and morphology on their properties is required in order to better apply these nanostructured materials.
Conclusion: The nanoflowers with interesting properties can be used in the design of future devices with various applications. The existence of different routes to synthesis nanoflowers and their unique properties confirm the importance promoted awareness of potential benefits of nanoflowers in different applications. The reviewed patents emphasized the importance of these nanostructures. Therefore, research efforts based on nanoflowers are dynamic and applicable in various fields.