Various techniques have been developed to create nanowires and their applications are numerous. These methods include synthesis, photovoltaic and chemical detection techniques. Some of the most promising applications include solar energy generation, detection of biological and chemical species, and drug delivery systems.
Discovered by Wagner and Ellis
During the 1960’s, Richard Wagner and William Ashton Ellis discovered the VLS growth process. This is a catalytic process whereby vaporous precursors such as oxygen and carbon dioxide are deposited onto a silicon substrate covered by gold droplets. Eventually, these droplets are supersaturated and catalyze the growth of crystalline silicon. The VLS growth process is a good platform for nanoscale research.
The VLS growth process has been used in a number of applications such as the production of nanowires. In 2000, researchers at Hitachi Corporation successfully applied the controlled catalytic growth technique to III-V nanowhiskers.
The VLS growth process is not the only nanowire generating method in use. Researchers at Hitachi have recently applied the controlled catalytic growth technique to InAs nanowires. These nanowhiskers display pseudo-cylindrical wire morphologies.
Several common laboratory techniques can be used to produce nanowires. The method of growing nanowires via vapor-liquid-solid synthesis (VLS) is a commonly adopted method to produce high-quality crystalline nanowires from many semiconductor materials. These nanowires are very versatile, as they can be used for a variety of applications.
The morphological and size control of nanowires are important for determining their intrinsic properties. Semicontinuous silver addition is an easy-to-prepare synthetic technique that provides excellent shape and size control. The morphology of the final product can be altered by controlling the amount of hydroxide present in the reaction solution.
In addition, ultrathin silver nanowires have been shown to be excellent superconducting materials. This property is important in photovoltaic devices. Nanowires can also be used as sacrificial templates for the synthesis of other nanostructures.
Synthesis of nanowires is an active area of research. In particular, the high electrical conductivity of bulk silver has made it possible to synthesize silver nanowires. Many research groups have developed excellent strategies for synthesis of nanowires.
Synthesis techniques for nanowires include electrochemical deposition, suspension, VLS growth, and solution-phase synthesis. Nanowires can be produced using these methods on a large scale. The use of coordination reagents enables the kinetic control of the growth rate of metal faces. In addition, a non-conduction template can be used to constrain the electrode surface.
Arrays of semiconductor nanowires are a promising candidate for solar energy harvesting. They can improve light trapping and antireflection properties, which can increase the efficiency of solar cells. Although the photovoltaic efficiency of nanowire arrays is lower than the efficiency of a thin film, they can be used to enhance the photon absorption efficiency of a solar cell.
Nanowires have the potential to transform many industries, including electronics, energy, and computing. In addition to their applications in solar energy conversion, nanowires also have great potential for many energy storage applications.
Nanowires are a new class of semiconductors. They are much larger than quantum dots and have a higher absorption cross-section. Nanowires have efficient charge transport and bandgap tuning capabilities. They can also be used as heterojunctions to improve light absorption and vectorial transport. These heterojunctions can reduce the minority diffusion length, which is sufficient for high efficiency PV devices.
Nanowires are asymmetric in shape, which provides the opportunity to tune quantum effects in a short direction. Nanowires have also been shown to have confinement effects across their diameter. This can result in larger absorption in the low-frequency regime and smaller absorption in the high-frequency regime.
Nanowires can be fabricated with a variety of materials, including gold and silicon. However, silicon is the most widely used semiconductor in photovoltaic applications. There is a growing demand for silicon-based solar cells, which has driven the price of silicon materials higher. Several low-quality silicon alternatives are being studied as inexpensive alternatives.
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Detection of biological and chemical species
Detection of biological and chemical species using nanowires is an emerging area of research. It promises revolutionary advancements in medicine and healthcare. This review discusses recent developments in the field. It describes synthesis techniques for silicon nanowires, and presents an overview of sensor applications. It also discusses future challenges.
The nanowire has several unique properties that make it a promising candidate for sensors. These properties include excellent biocompatibility, fast response time, and narrow diameter. It has a high surface to bulk ratio, and is easy to integrate with other microelectronic components. It also has good reversibility.
Nanowire devices have also been used to detect viruses. For example, an array of silicon nanowires was used to detect distinct viruses at the single-virus level. In addition, it was shown that these devices can detect genetic modifications. This is important for understanding the fundamentals of disease. The ability to detect these changes could provide new approaches to disease diagnosis and treatment.
Silicon nanowire field effect biosensors have received a great deal of attention. They offer the potential for real-time detection of biological and chemical species. In addition, these devices have shown high-sensitivity applications and demonstrate label-free detection of chemical and biological species.
Nanowire sensors are highly sensitive. The nanowire device converts chemical binding events into electronic signals. This makes them excellent primary transducers for analytical measurements. They are also useful for detection of biological and chemical species in solution. They have also been used in array-based screening and in vivo diagnostics.
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