Monday, May 16, 2011

US Patent 7940381 - Semiconductor nanowire EM sensor

This patent from IBM teaches using semiconductor nanowires to detect electromagnetic radiation such as gamma rays, X-rays, ultraviolet radiation, radiation in visible spectrum, or infrared radiation and in which a dye is used to determine the peak absorption wavelength. Claim 1 reads:

1. A semiconductor device comprising:

a semiconductor nanowire located on a substrate and comprising a semiconductor material; and

a dye layer including a chemical coating layer and a metallic element containing layer, wherein said dye layer absorbs electromagnetic radiation, and wherein energy from said absorbed electromagnetic radiation induces electronic excitation in said dye layer and alters free charge carrier density in said semiconductor nanowire,

wherein said chemical coating layer is located on said semiconductor nanowire and comprises a functional material that selectively attaches to said semiconductor material and react with said metallic element containing layer to form a dye material.