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Pure Appl. Chem., 2004, Vol. 76, No. 12, pp. 2051-2068

Integrated nanoscale electronics and optoelectronics: Exploring nanoscale science and technology through semiconductor nanowires*

Yu Huang and C. M. Lieber

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue 16-244, Cambridge, MA 02139,USA; Chemistry and Materials Science Directorate, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 7000 East Avenue, Livermore, CA 94551, USA; Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

Abstract: Semiconductor nanowires (NWs)represent an ideal system for investigating low-dimensional physics and are expected to play an important role as both interconnects and functional device elements in nanoscale electronic and optoelectronic devices. Here we review a series of key advances defining a new paradigm of bottom-up assembling integrated nanosystems using semiconductor NW building blocks. We first introduce a general approach for the synthesis of a broad range of semiconductor NWs with precisely controlled chemical composition, physical dimension, and electronic, optical properties using a metal cluster-catalyzed vapor-liquid-solid growth mechanism. Subsequently, we describe rational strategies for the hierarchical assembly of NW building blocks into functional devices and complex architectures based on electric field or micro-fluidic flow. Next, we discuss a variety of new nanoscale electronic device concepts including crossed NW p-n diode and crossed NW field effect transistors (FETs). Reproducible assembly of these scalable crossed NW device elements enables a catalog of integrated structures, including logic gates and computational circuits. Lastly, we describe a wide range of photonic and optoelectronic devices, including nanoscale light-emitting diodes (nanoLEDs), multicolor LED arrays, integrated nanoLED-nanoFET arrays, single nanowire waveguide, and single nanowire nanolaser. The potential application of these nanoscale light sources for chemical and biological analyses is discussed.
* Pure Appl. Chem. 76, 2051-2099 (2004). A collection of invited, peer-reviewed articles by the winners of the 2004 IUPAC Prize for Young Chemists.