Tuesday, April 24, 2007

US Patent 7208094 - Nanowire growth from vertical surfaces


Nanotubes and nanowires are often grown from catalytic particles and can be formed in large arrays using such catalytic growth. However, this type of fabrication often results in arrays of vertically oriented nanowires which, while useful in some applications such as field emission displays, are often less useful in providing circuit interconnections. This patent from HP teaches growing nanowires from the side surfaces of a silicon substrate to establish horizontally oriented nanowires that may be more useful as interconnects or crossbar circuit elements. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of growing a nanowire in a lateral direction comprising: forming vertical surfaces on or in a horizontal surface of a silicon substrate, the vertical surfaces being vertical relative to the horizontal surface, the vertical surfaces being (111) silicon lattice planes; activating a first vertical surface of the vertical surfaces with a nanoparticle catalyst; and growing a semiconductor nanowire laterally from the activated first vertical surface in a direction toward a second surface of the vertical surfaces, the second vertical surface being spaced from and opposite to the first vertical surface.

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