We propose an approach to the fabrication of one-dimensional nanostructures, based on the design of a pattern of channels onto a semiconductor surface. The feasibility of this approach is demonstrated by means of ab initio and empirical electronic structure calculations. When the channel diameter is sufficiently larger than the interstitial space, the resulting pillars constitute an ordered array of electronically independent, though mechanically connected nanowires. In the opposite regime a tunable metamaterial results. The proposed method provides a path to the realization of uniform quantum wires-both in size and doping characteristics-while easing electrical contacting. © 2007 American Institute of Physics.