In earlier work, Li and Fortuna demonstrated they could grow the nanowires and then transfer-print them on other substrates, including silicon, for heterogeneous integration. "Transferring the self-aligned planar nanowires while maintaining both their position and alignment could enable flexible electronics and photonics at a true nanometer scale," the researchers wrote in the December 2008 issue of the journal Nano Letters.
In work presented in the current paper, the researchers grew the gallium-arsenide nanowire channel in place, instead of transferring it. In contrast to the common types of non-planar gallium arsenide nanowires, the researchers' planar nanowire was free from twin defects, which are rotational defects in the crystal structure that decrease the mobility of the charge carriers.
"By replacing the standard channel in a metal-semiconductor field-effect transistor with one of our planar nanowires, we demonstrated that the defect-free nanowire's electron mobility was indeed as high as the corresponding bulk value," Fortuna said. "The high electron mobility nanowire channel could lead to smaller, better and faster devices."
Considering their planar, self-aligned and transferable nature, the nanowire channels could help create higher performance transistors for next-generation integrated circuit applications, Li said.
The high quality planar nanowires can also be used in nano-injection lasers for use in optical communications.
The researchers are also developing new device concepts driven by further engineering of the planar one-dimensional nanostructure.
|Contact: James E. Kloeppel|
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign