AbstractSimple and versatile methods to form nanowires on microchips are of interest for fundamental research and hold the potentials for an industrial fabrication. In this review article, one of these methods based on thin film fracture will be described introducing the experimental parameters and the potential for research. The advantages of the utilization of thin film cracks as a template for the nanowire formation are numerous: nanowire generation ready with contacts, a wide ranging freedom in the choice of materials, influence on the internal structure of the nanowire or the precise positioning on a microchip. A detailed discussion about the fabrication steps and some preliminary experiments revealing the possibilities of the fracture approach will be given for obtained metallic, semiconducting and anodized nanowires. In contrast to their macroscopic counterparts, the conductivity through the nanowires is entirely different. The influence of the surrounding gas atmospheres and the application of electrical fields demonstrate the applicability of these nanowires fabricated by using such a fracture approach.