Thursday, May 17, 2007

US Patent 7217946 - Nanowire fabrication using current induced overthickness

The desire for nanowire fabrication has led many to seek alternative methods to EUV lithography techniques such as nanoimprint lithography and self assembly. This patent teaches using currents between two electrodes to produce an effect that creates an array of parallel nanowires between the electrodes. Claim 1 reads:

1. Process for manufacturing nanowire structures, characterised in that it comprises: manufacture of a thin semiconductor film (1) extending between a first terminal (4) and a second terminal (5), and passage of a current between the first and the second terminals so as to form at least one continuous overthickness (R1, R2, R3) in the thin semiconductor film by migration of a fraction of the semiconductor material under the action of the current, the continuous overthickness being formed along the direction of the current that passes through the film.