Wednesday, March 05, 2008

US Patent 7339184 - Metal/oxide/semiconductor nanowire

This appears to be a fairly fundamental patent for Nanosys which claims a basic metal oxide semiconductor (MOS) nanowire structure. Most electronics commonly used are MOSFETs and if nanowires become an active part of electronics devices this patent will likely become important to industry. While it is not the first MOS based nanowire structure (Infineon has an earlier patent to a vertical nanowire transistor which is integrally formed on a silicon substrate), the nanowire structure of this patent is formed to be part of a coating material that can be printed on a variety of different substrates allowing for the development of flexible electronics useful for large area solar cells and pliable displays. One difficulty though will be the alignment of the nanowires. Claim 1 reads:

1. A nanowire deposited on a substrate surface such that a long axis of the nanowire is aligned substantially parallel to the substrate surface, the nanowire comprising a semiconductor core, an oxide shell layer disposed about the core, and a metal shell layer deposited on the oxide shell layer, wherein the semiconductor core is provided recessed within the oxide shell layer.