Atomic scale nanowires can now be produced to a large extent


PICTURE: (a) Illustration of TMC nanowire (b) Precipitation of chemical vapors. The ingredients evaporate in a hydrogen / nitrogen atmosphere and are allowed to settle and self-assemble on the substrate. Reprinted with permission … view more

Credit: Copyright 2020 American Chemical Society (ACS)

Tokyo, Japan – Researchers at the Metropolitan University of Tokyo have discovered a way to make their own chalcogenide nanowires from transition metals on the scale using chemical precipitation. By changing the substrate where the wires are formed, they can adjust the way these wires are arranged, from aligned configurations of atomically thin sheets to random bundle networks. This paves the way for the industrial introduction of next-generation industrial electronics, including energy collection, and transparent, efficient, even flexible devices.

Electronics are most important for reducing things. For example, smaller on-chip features mean more computing power in the same amount of space and greater efficiency, which is necessary to meet the increasingly demanding requirements of a modern IT infrastructure driven by machine learning and artificial intelligence. And as devices shrink, the same demands are placed on the intricate wiring that connects everything. The ultimate goal would be a wire only one or two atoms thick. Such nanowires would begin to use a completely different physics as the electrons traveling through them behave more and more as if they were living in a one-dimensional rather than a 3D world.

In fact, scientists already have materials such as carbon nanotubes and transition metal chalcogenides (TMCs), mixtures of transition metals, and group 16 elements that can self-assemble into nanowires of atomic proportions. The problem is that they make them long and extensive enough. The way to mass-produce nanowires would be to change the game.

Now the team led by Dr. Hong En Lim and associate professor Yasumitsu Miyata of the Metropolitan University of Tokyo devised a way to make long nanowire wires from telluride transition metal on an unprecedented scale. Using a process called chemical vapor deposition (CVD), they found that TMC nanowires can be assembled in different layouts, depending on the surface or pad which they use as a template. Examples are shown in Figure 2; u (a), nanowires grown on a silica / silica substrate form a random network of beams; in (b), the wires are assembled in a set direction on a sapphire substrate, following the structure of the underlying sapphire crystal. By simply changing the breeding site, the team now has access to centimeter-sized wafers covered with the desired layout, including single-layer layers, double-layer layers, and bundle networks, all with different applications. They also found that the structure of the wires themselves was highly crystalline and ordered and that their properties, including excellent conductivity and behavior like 1D, matched those found in the theoretical predictions.

Having large amounts of long high-crystalline nanowires will certainly help physicists to deeper characterize and study these exotic structures. Most importantly, it is an exciting step towards seeing the real applications of atomically thin wires, in transparent and flexible electronics, ultra efficient devices and energy collection applications.



1. Lim, HE; Nakanishi, Y .; Liu, Z .; Pu, J .; Maruyama, M .; Endo, T .; Ando, ​​C .; Shimizu, H .; Yanagi, K .; Okada, S .; Takenobu, T .; Miyata, Y. Growth of wavy scales of one-dimensional nanorires of telluride transition metal. Nano Lett. [Online early access]. DOI: 10.1021 / acs.nanolett.0c03456. Published online: December 13, 2020 https: //pubs.acsorg /doi /10.1021 /acsnanolett.0c03456 (accessed December 13, 2020).

This work was supported by grants from JST CREST (JPMJCR16F3, JPMJCR17I5), Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) KAKENHI, grants for scientific research (B) (JP18H01832, JP19H02543, JP20H02572, JP20H02573), Young Scientists (JP19K15, Research). in Innovative Areas (JP20H05189, JP26102012), Specially Promoted Research (JP25000003), Challenging Research (19K22127) and Scientific Research (A) (JP17H01069), and grants from the Murata Science Foundation (2019, H31-068) and the Japanese Keirin Foundation Autorace (2020M-121). This work was partially performed at AIST’s nanoprocessing plant with the support of the “Nanotechnology Platform” program of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Japan. Approval numbers JPMXP09F19008709 and 20009034.

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