According to a press release (1 February 2002) from the American Chemical Society (ACS), two independent groups have published reports in Nano Letters, an ACS publication, on methods for making lattices that they say will enable nanowires to be constructed with otherwise incompatible materials. Such mixed bundles may be useful in making electronics and other devices on an increasingly smaller scale:
- A report by a U.S. team led by Peidong Yang, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of California-Berkeley and a faculty scientist in the Materials Science Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, details how they successfully fabricated ìsuperlatticeî nanowire, so named because the nanowireís cylinder-shaped nanoscopic bundle interweaves substances with different compositions and properties. As a result, well-defined junctions and interfaces with potentially important functionalities were incorporated within individual nanowires.
- A related paper by Swedish researchers working in the Materials Chemistry and Solid State Physics Departments in Lund Universityís Nanometer Consortium used related but different methods than their California peers.
In both cases, manufacture is relatively straightforward and results in stable nanowires that can operate at room temperature, Yang reports. Based on the findings of both research groups, tiny components known as nanowires that meld together a variety of materials could soon be routinely and cheaply built using little more than a special mixture of gases deposited on a foundation material.
Additional information on the Berkeley teamís work can be found in this press release (31 January 2002) issued by Nanosys, Inc. Yang is a cofounder of Nanosys, a company focused on the development of nanotechnology-enabled systems. These systems incorporate novel and patent-protected zero and one-dimensional nanometer-scale materials such as nanowires, nanotubes and nanodots (quantum dots) as their principal active elements. Another cofounder of Nanosys is Charles Lieber, a Harvard chemistry professor and winner of the 2001 Foresight Feynman Prize for Experimental work. Lieber has also been conducting significant research into the production and properties of nanowires and other nano-scale materials.