Synopsis: Groovy nanowires

A molecular network on a copper surface serves as a template for growing nanowires of uniform size from a range of metals.
Synopsis figure
Illustration: X.-D. Ma et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. (2009)

Nanowires—atomic chains one or a few atoms thick—are excellent candidates for nanoelectronics and a host of other applications, but first the fabrication process for making them must be reliable and reproducible. The growth of a nanowire on a substrate is highly sensitive to the chemistry of the elements involved, with different growth materials yielding different types of nanowires and in some cases no wire at all. Overcoming these effects would yield better control over the nanowire formation process.

In an article appearing in Physical Review Letters, Xiaodong Ma and colleagues at the Max-Planck-Institut in Halle, Germany, and collaborators elsewhere in Germany and in Japan have used Molecular Beam Epitaxy to grow iron, palladium, and gold nanowires on a corrugated molecular network of Cu3N on the (110) surface of copper. The Cu3N network guides the occupation of atoms on the copper surface, creating nanowires of identical structure in the grooves of the network. The resultant nanowires have uniform width, height, and orientation, regardless of which elements the group uses. The nanowires form in the grooves of the network. Because the Fe atom occupation is asymmetric at the crests, the nanowires exhibit a minimum separation. – Daniel Ucko


Features

More Features »

Announcements

More Announcements »

Subject Areas

Nanophysics

Previous Synopsis

Related Articles

Viewpoint: Squeezed Environment Boosts Engine Performance
Nanophysics

Viewpoint: Squeezed Environment Boosts Engine Performance

A tiny engine can surpass the Carnot limit of efficiency when researchers engineer the thermal properties of the environment. Read More »

Synopsis: Transistor Breaks Law of Thermal Conductivity
Nanophysics

Synopsis: Transistor Breaks Law of Thermal Conductivity

A single-electron transistor carries more heat than that predicted by the Wiedemann-Franz law linking thermal and electrical conductivities. Read More »

Synopsis: Two-Pulse X  Rays Probe Skyrmions
Nanophysics

Synopsis: Two-Pulse X Rays Probe Skyrmions

A new x-ray spectroscopy technique can measure magnetic fluctuations in vortex-like structures called Skyrmions with nanosecond resolution. Read More »

More Articles