The ability to synthesize semiconductor nanowires with deterministic and tunable control of orientation and morphology on a wide range of substrates, while high precision and repeatability are maintained, is a challenge currently faced for the development of many nanoscale material systems. Here we show that atomic layer deposition (ALD) presents a reliable method of surface and interfacial modification to guide nanowire orientation on a variety of substrate materials and geometries, including high-aspect-ratio, three-dimensional templates. We demonstrate control of the orientation and geometric properties of hydrothermally grown single crystalline ZnO nanowires via the deposition of a ZnO seed layer by ALD. The crystallographic texture and roughness of the seed layer result in tunable preferred nanowire orientations and densities for identical hydrothermal growth conditions. The structural and chemical relationship between the ALD layers and nanowires was investigated with synchrotron X-ray diffraction, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of orientation and morphology control. The resulting control parameters were utilized to produce hierarchical nanostructures with tunable properties on a wide range of substrates, including vertical micropillars, paper fibers, porous polymer membranes, and biological substrates. This illustrates the power of ALD for interfacial engineering of heterogeneous material systems at the nanoscale, to provide a highly controlled and scalable seeding method for bottom-up synthesis of integrated nanosystems. Read Paper