Even prior to the recent advent of advanced top-down processes, shadowing growth by oblique angle deposition
(OAD) has long been providing self-assembled nanostructures over much larger areas for much lower costs. In
the past two decades, significant progress has been made in the development of well-controlled three-dimensional
nanomorphologies such as zigzags and helixes. Much effort has been put into theoretical and numerical understanding of the growth mechanism to improve morphology. Many researchers in academia have been investigating useful properties of nanocolumnar thin films in their laboratories. However, most companies seem hesitant to introduce OAD techniques into the factory owing to the prejudice that the OAD thin films are neither durable nor reproducible. In this review article, we discuss the progress in OAD technology for practical applications.