Semiconductor Nanowires: Nanoscale Electronics and Optoelectronics


Charles M. Lieber Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University

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A bottom-up approach, in which functional systems are assembled from chemically synthesized, well-defined nanoscale building blocks, has the potential to go far beyond of the limits of top-down technology by defining key nanometer scale metrics through synthesis and subsequent assembly—not by lithography. One-dimensional (1D) nanostructures represent the smallest dimension structure that can efficiently transport electrical carriers and can play an important role as both interconnect and functional device elements in integrated nanosystems. Here, we review recent advances in bottom-up assembly of nanoscale electronics and optoelectronics using semiconductor nanowire (NW) as building blocks. First, we review electrical transport studies on individual NWs, and moreover, examine nanoscale electronic and optoelectronic devices assembled using individual NWs as building blocks. Next, we present approaches for the hierarchical assembly of NWs into well-defined arrays with controlled orientation and spatial location. Third, we address critical issues for integration and demonstrate the assembly of integrated nanoscale devices with logic and computation circuits. Lastly, we describe a unique application enabled by nanoscale NW devices: highly sensitive and selective chemical and biological sensing. We conclude with a brief summary and perspective on future opportunities.