Comprehensive characterization at nanoscale is needed to create novel nanostructures for high efficiency solar cells. To produce consistent results, wide-ranging characterization procedures for integrated nanostructures have been developed. Characterization of a novel nanowire, nanotube and nanocable system includes: chemical, electrochemical, structural, optical and electrical characterization of nanostructures in relation with growth conditions. We present here results on Au and CdTe/Au system that help understanding how surface composition and properties are modified in this system. New challenges in structural characterization were also identified and improved sample preparation techniques were developed.