Under the microscope #16 - Nanowires

March 16, 2012

Nanowires growing in real time. Each nanowire is roughly 450 atoms wide.

This is the last in the Under the Microscope series. We hope you have enjoyed viewing them as much as we enjoyed making them. Look out for more video series like this in future. You can check out all the other microscope videos here: http://bit.ly/A6bwCE

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

Andrew Gamalski: “This video is a bright field environmental transmission electron microscopy video of nanowires growing from gold catalyst particles. The dark crystalline shapes initially present in the video are the gold particles. Disilane, a silicon rich gas, feeds nanowire growth. The solid catalyst particles liquefy after being exposed to the disilane early in the video. Eventually, a solid silicon crystal forms in the now liquid catalyst particle. This crystal continues to grow as silicon is continuously deposited into the catalyst from the disilane gas. The new silicon crystal’s diameter is restricted by the size of the gold catalyst. This means the silicon can grow in one direction only, forming a nanowire.”

Video courtesy of S. Hofmann, et al. Nature Materials 7, 372 – 375 (2008). Speaker in the video is Andrew D. Gamalski, a current graduate student studying nanowire growth under Dr. Stephan Hofmann in the Engineering Department at the University of Cambridge. Additional information about this group’s experiments involving germanium can be found at: http://nanotechweb.org/cws/article/tech/43377

Original Nature article: www.nature.com/nmat/journal/v7/n5/full/nmat2140.html

Explore further: Cleanliness can stunt nanowire growth

Related Stories

The 'coolest' semiconductor nanowires

March 23, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Semiconductor nanowires are essential materials in the development of cheaper and more efficient solar cells, as well as batteries with higher storage capacity. Moreover, they are important building blocks ...

Recommended for you

Reshaping the solar spectrum to turn light to electricity

July 28, 2015

When it comes to installing solar cells, labor cost and the cost of the land to house them constitute the bulk of the expense. The solar cells—made often of silicon or cadmium telluride—rarely cost more than 20 percent ...

Meet the high-performance single-molecule diode

July 29, 2015

A team of researchers from Berkeley Lab and Columbia University has passed a major milestone in molecular electronics with the creation of the world's highest-performance single-molecule diode. Working at Berkeley Lab's Molecular ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.