Tuesday, January 18, 2011

US Patent 7872324 - Suspended nanowire sensor


It has been found that interaction between a substrate and a nanowire can be detrimental to sensing characteristics. In order to avoid such interaction this patent teaches using a suspended nanowire above a trench formed in the substrate. Claim 1 reads:

1. A suspended nanowire sensor, comprising:

first and second sensor electrodes formed on upper portions of a semiconductor substrate and physically separated from each other by a trench in the semiconductor substrate, the depth of the trench being greater than the width;

a nanowire sensor material piece extending from the first sensor electrode to the second sensor electrode and physically suspended between the first and second sensor electrodes; and

an insulation layer between the substrate and the first and second sensor electrodes.