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Semiconductor nanowires: A platform for nanoscience and nanotechnology

  • Charles M. Lieber (a1)
Abstract
Abstract

Advances in nanoscience and nanotechnology critically depend on the development of nanostructures whose properties are controlled during synthesis. We focus on this critical concept using semiconductor nanowires, which provide the capability through design and rational synthesis to realize unprecedented structural and functional complexity in building blocks as a platform material. First, a brief review of the synthesis of complex modulated nanowires in which rational design and synthesis can be used to precisely control composition, structure, and, most recently, structural topology is discussed. Second, the unique functional characteristics emerging from our exquisite control of nanowire materials are illustrated using several selected examples from nanoelectronics and nano-enabled energy. Finally, the remarkable power of nanowire building blocks is further highlighted through their capability to create unprecedented, active electronic interfaces with biological systems. Recent work pushing the limits of both multiplexed extracellular recording at the single-cell level and the first examples of intracellular recording is described, as well as the prospects for truly blurring the distinction between nonliving nanoelectronic and living biological systems.

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