Europe is one step ahead of the US in the development of a new type of semiconductor structure consisting of incredibly thin nano threads. A Swedish team headed by Professor Lars Samuelson at the LTH, the Lund Institute of Technology, Lund University, has taken the lead in this field of research. “In nano threads, we can combine semiconductor materials that no one has previously been able to grow. This results in entirely new electrical properties: a single electron can be monitored and made to run a unidimensional electronic steeplechase,” says Professor Samuelson.
The question of who came in first has been exciting since this is such a hot scientific innovation. The article from the LTH team was submitted one month before an article from UC Berkeley and about seven weeks ahead of another article on the subject from a group at Harvard. The Lund team was also the first to be published in Applied Physics Letters (Vol 80, 1058, 2002), followed by two articles from the Berkeley team and Samuelson’s team, who published jointly in the February issue of Nano Letters. The Harvard team’s article appeared this week in Nature. The new findings have also recently been commented on as a news bulletin in Science (News of the Week).
In other words, its looks like the Americans are hot on the heels of the Swedish team. But this is an illusion. Now that all the material has been published it appears that the LTH scientists have mastered the technological processes with a precision that the Americans have yet to attain.
Göran Frankel | alphagalileo
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