Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Highly Conductive Germanium Nanowires Made by a Simple, One-Step Process


Lithium-ion batteries could benefit from this inexpensive method.

The Science

Image courtesy of Jay Switzer

Scanning electron micrograph image of germanium nanowires electrodeposited onto an indium tin oxide electrode from aqueous solution.

For the first time, germanium nanowires have been deposited on indium tin oxide substrate by a simple, one-step process called electrodeposition.

The Impact

The germanium nanowires produced by this method have superior electronic properties compared to silicon and can be used as high-capacity anode material for lithium-ion batteries, but the nanowires were previously too expensive and difficult to produce. This process may resolve the cost issue to advance this battery technology.


Germanium is a semiconductor that has superior electronic properties compared to silicon, and is being considered as a replacement for silicon in semiconductor technology. It is also an attractive anode material for lithium-ion batteries because it has a large theoretical charge-discharge capacity compared to graphite and high lithium ion diffusivity at room temperature compared to silicon.

The large volume changes associated with charge-discharge processes require anodes be made of high-surface-area nanostructures of germanium. A lack of inexpensive and simple methods to produce germanium nanostructures has so far limited their use in battery electrode applications.

Now, researchers at the Missouri University of Science and Technology have shown for the first time that germanium nanowires can be deposited by a simple, one-step process called electrodeposition that could provide a low cost route to fabricate these anodes.

The nanowires were grown on an indium tin oxide substrate. An electrochemical reduction produces tiny indium nanoparticles on the indium tin oxide surface, which act as sites for the nucleation and crystallization of germanium nanowires.

The nanowire diameter can be controlled by the solution temperature: wires grown at room temperature have an average diameter of 35 nanometers, whereas those grown at 95°C have an average diameter of 100 nanometers. The germanium nanowires produced by this method are highly conductive, because they contain a small amount of indium impurity (~0.2 atomic percent), making them ideal for lithium-ion battery applications.


DOE Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences.


N.K. Mahenderkar, Y.C. Liu, J. A. Koza, J.A. Switzer, “Electrodeposited germanium nanowires.” ACS Nano 9, 9524–9530 (2014). [DOI: 10.1021/nn503784d]

Contact Information
Kristin Manke

Kristin Manke | newswise

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht From ancient fossils to future cars
21.10.2016 | University of California - Riverside

nachricht Study explains strength gap between graphene, carbon fiber
20.10.2016 | Rice University

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Fluorescent holography: Upending the world of biological imaging

25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Etching Microstructures with Lasers

25.10.2016 | Process Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>