Controlling the Shape and Content of Nanowires

Technology developed at MIT can control the composition and structure of these tiny wires as they grow

Story content courtesy of MIT News Office, US

Nanowires hold a variety of potential applications including light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and sensors.A team of MIT researchers has found a way of precisely controlling the width and composition of these tiny strands as they grow, making it possible to grow complex structures that are optimally designed for particular applications.

The results are described this month in a new paper authored by MIT assistant professor of materials science and engineering Silvija Gradečak and her team. Precisely structured nanowires could facilitate a new generation of semiconductor devices, Gradečak says. Such control of nanowire geometry and composition could enable devices with better functionality than conventional thin-film devices made of the same materials, she says. Another potential application of the materials developed by Gradečak and her team is in next generation LED light bulbs.

The nanowires can be produced using tools already in use by the semiconductor industry, so the devices should be relatively easy to gear up for mass production, the team says.

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