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A first in integrated nanowire sensor circuitry
Date:8/4/2008

tosensor circuitry, the Javey group used cadmium selenide nanowires as visible-light sensors. For the electronics, nanowires with a germanium core and a silicon shell were the basis of field-effect transistors that would amplify the current produced by the photosensors in response to light by five orders of magnitude.

Integrating the circuit

"To fabricate the integrated circuitry, we had to position the two kinds of materials at precise locations on the receiver substrate," Javey says. "The pattern for the device was on a photoresist layer coated on the substrate. First we printed the cadmium selenide nanowires onto the substrate, then removed the photoresist with acetone, leaving the cadmium selenide nanowires exactly where we wanted them. We repeated the process for the germanium/silicon nanowires."

The photosensors and the electronics were now positioned on the substrate as such elements might be mapped onto a much larger integrated circuit. (In the test case, a standard silicon/silicon-oxide substrate was used.) The circuit was completed by depositing metal electrodes to connect the elements; the resulting matrix of all-nanowire circuits, which acted as pixels, was used for imaging.

Results of the Javey group's integrated nanowire circuit showed successful photoresponse in 80 percent of the circuits, with fairly small variations among them. Where circuits did fail, the causes were due to defects in fabrication of the circuit connections (10 percent), failure in photosensor printing (5 percent), or defective nanowires (5 percent). The relatively high yield of complex operational circuits proved the potential of the technology, with improvements readily achievable by optimizing nanowire synthesis and fabrication of the devices.

"In the future, we can foresee using a variety of different optical sensors to create nanoscale devices sensitive to multiple colors in high-resolution," says Javey. "And that's just
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Contact: Paul Preuss
paul_preuss@lbl.gov
510-486-6249
DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

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