Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, have found an innovative way to grow silicon nanowires and carbon nanotubes directly on microstructures in a room temperature chamber, opening the doors to cheaper and faster commercialization of a myriad of nanotechnology-based devices.
Shown at left are carbon nanotubes grown on the sides of a microstructure. As they grow, they are oriented towards the local electrical field, marked by the "E." . (Courtesy Ron Wilson and Dane Christensen)
Shown above are oblique and closeup views of silicon nanowire growth. The nanowires are centrally located to 35 micrometers of a 100 micrometer-long microstructure. (Courtesy Bob Prohaska and Ongi Englander
The researchers were able to precisely localize the extreme heat necessary for nanowire and nanotube growth, protecting the sensitive microelectronics - which remained at room temperature - just a few micrometers away, or about one-tenth the diameter of a strand of human hair.
The new technique, described in the June 24 online issue of the journal Applied Physics Letters, eliminates cumbersome middle steps in the manufacturing process of sensors that incorporate nanotubes or nanowires. An image of the technique will be featured on the cover of the journals June 30 print issue.
Sarah Yang | UC Berkeley
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