Monday, March 01, 2010

US Patent 7667296 - Semiconductor nanowire capacitor

A variety of approaches have been suggested in the last few years to incorporate nanostructures into capacitive structures to increase energy storage and integration density. This patent from Nanosys has relatively early priority (3/23/2004) and teaches using semiconductor nanowires to form varactor diode capacitor structures for use in tuning oscillators and filters. Claim 1 reads:

1. A capacitor device, comprising:

a substrate;

a semiconductor nanowire, supported by the substrate, wherein the nanowire has a length and a diameter thereby defining a surface;

an insulator formed on at least a portion of the surface;

an outer coaxial conductor formed on a least a portion of the insulator and configured to be in physical contact with a region of the nanowire; and

an electrical contact coupled to the nanowire.