Scientists carve nanowires out of ultrananocrystalline diamond thin films

Nov 04, 2011

A team of scientists working at Argonne National Laboratory's (ANL) Center for Nanoscale Materials has successfully carved ultrananocrystalline diamond (UNCD) thin films into nanowires, boosting the material's functionality and providing potential improvements to the fabrication of biosensors.

UNCD thin films are a special form of diamond invented at ANL, and the subject of tremendous interest because of the material's highly desirable ability to alter its electrical properties when the chemical bonding between is modified. "It's a highly attractive carbon-based material with a wide range of applications in communications, medicine, and defense," notes Sumant.

A primary motive behind their studies, he explains, is to understand the properties of UNCH when it's fabricated into a nanowire geometry. They also want to see how these properties can be altered by changing chemical bonding at the grain boundary and by taking advantage of increased surface-to-volume ratio at the same time.

"We've demonstrated a pathway to fabricate UNCD nanowires, with widths as small as 30 nanometers at a thickness of 40nanometers, by using a top-down fabrication approach that combines and [a] reactive ion etching process," says Sumant.

Among the exceptional electrical properties of the UNCD nanowires, the researchers also discovered a resistance that is extremely sensitive to the adsorption of at the grain boundaries. This discovery opens up new possibilities for the fabrication of advanced nanoscale sensors for specific use, according to the team.

The main advantage of UNCD over other materials, he explains, is that it provides stable functionalization, which could be very useful for fabricating a new breed of sensors.

UNCD nanowires are initially expected to find applications in the biosensor area, or in pressure or , which could be used by the micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) and semiconductor industries.

Explore further: Simpler process to grow germanium nanowires could improve lithium ion batteries

Provided by American Institute of Physics

4.8 /5 (4 votes)

Related Stories

Reusable templates for the production of nanowires

May 23, 2011

Scientists from Argonne National Laboratory CNM's Nanofabrication and Electronic and Magnetic Materials and Devices groups, working with users from the University of Wisconsin-Stevenson Point, discovered a ...

Diamond technology to revolutionize mobile communications

Aug 07, 2006

The U. S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory has teamed with industrial and academic partners under a DARPA Phase II research and development program to develop a new technology based on Ultrananocrystalline ...

New nanocrystalline diamond probes overcome wear

Nov 10, 2009

Researchers at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University have developed, characterized, and modeled a new kind of probe used in atomic force microscopy (AFM), which images, measures, ...

Recommended for you

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Isaacsname
not rated yet Nov 04, 2011
I wonder if they've tried to stretch or compress it yet..., iirc, there was an article recently about silicon's properties changing with the moduli.