The serendipitously discovered solution-liquid-solid (SLS) mechanism has been refined into a nearly general synthetic method for semiconductor nanowires. Purposeful control of diameters and diameter distributions is achieved. The synthesis proceeds by a solution-based catalyzed-growth mechanism in which nanometer-scale metallic droplets catalyze the decomposition of metallo-organic precursors and crystalline nanowire growth. Related growth methods proceeding by the analogous vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) and supercritical fluid-liquid-solid (SFLS) mechanisms are known, and the relative attributes of the methods are compared. In short, the VLS method is most general and appears to afford nanowires of the best crystalline quality. The SLS method appears to be advantageous for producing the smallest nanowire diameters and for variation and control of surface ligation. The SFLS method may represent an ideal compromise. Recent results for SLS growth are summarized.