Wednesday, July 15, 2009

US Patent 7560366 - Process for horizontal nanowire growth

There have been numerous techniques developed for the direct growth of silicon nanowires on a substrate. However, most of these techniques result in vertically grown arrays of nanowires while horizontal nanowires have required pre-fabrication of the nanowires and deposition onto the substrate which can be more complex than a direct growth process and require special alignment steps. This patent from Nanosys teaches a horizontal growth method which may be easier to implement and useful to the fabrication of nanowire transistors and sensors. Claim 1 reads:

1. A process for producing silicon nanowires, comprising:

(a) providing a base substrate;

(b) forming one or more nucleating particle comprising gold (Au) on the base substrate;

(c) forming a nanowire growth-inhibiting layer on the one or more nucleating particle; and

(d) contacting the nucleating particle with one or more precursor gas mixtures suitable for the growth of silicon nanowires, whereby silicon nanowires are grown from a side surface of the nucleating particle.

One similar prior art patent is US 6,515,339.