Atomic-scale nanowires for next-generation electronics

Figure 1. (A) Illustration of TMC nanowire (b) Chemical vapor deposition. The components evaporate in the hydrogen / nitrogen atmosphere and are allowed to accumulate and self-assemble on a substrate. Ref. Reprinted with permission. 1. Credit: Copyright 2020 American Chemical Society (ACS)

Scalable synthesis of transition metal chalcenoid nanowires for next-generation electronics.

Researchers at Tokyo Metropolitan University find ways to self-assemble nanocharges of transition metal chalcoconides scale using chemical vapor deposition. By changing the substrate where the wires are formed, they can tune how these wires are arranged, from atomically aligned configurations of thin sheets to random bundles.

This paves the way for next-generation industrial electronics, including energy storage and transparent, efficient and flexible devices.

Electronics is about doing smaller things. The smaller features of the chip, for example, imply a greater ability to calculate the same amount of space and better efficiency, as it is essential to feed the increasingly demanding demand for a modern IT infrastructure equipped with machine learning and artificial intelligence. As the devices get smaller, the same requirements apply to the intricate wiring that connects everything.

The ultimate goal is just a thread atom or two thicknesses. Nanowires like this will begin to take advantage of a completely different physics, as the electrons that travel through them play more and more as if they were living in a one-dimensional world, not 3D.

Different Substrate Nanowire Arrangement

Figure 2. (A) Scanning electron microscopy of nanowires grown on a silicon / silica leaf. (b) Microscopy image of the atomic force of nanowires grown on a sapphire crystal substrate. (c) Scanning electron microscopy by transmission of aligned wires. (d) Scanning electron microscopy of a single TMC nanowire, viewed from the end, with an illustration of the structure. Ref. Reprinted with permission. 1. Credit: American Chemical Society (ACS)

In fact, scientists already have materials that group carbon nanotubes and transition metal chalcogenes (TMCs), mixtures of transition metals, and 16 elements that can be self-assembled into nanoscales on an atomic scale. The problems are becoming long enough and on a scale. One way to massively produce nanowires would be a game changer.

Now, a team led by Dr. Hong En Lim and Associate Professor Yasumitsu Miyata, director of the Tokyo Metropolitan University, has figured out how to make long-transition metal telluride nanowire wires on an unprecedented scale. Using a process called chemical vapor deposition (CVD), they found that TMC nanowires can be mounted in different arrangements depending on the surface. substrate that they use as a template. The examples are shown in Figure 2; In (a), nanowires grown on a silicon / silica substrate form a random array; In section (b), the wires are mounted in the established direction on a substrate circuit, following the structure of the sapphire crystal underneath. By changing where they have grown, the group has access to centimeter-sized leaves covered in the desired arrangement, including layers, two layers, and bundles, all with different applications. They also found that the structure of the wires was very crystalline and orderly and that their properties, including excellent conductivity and 1D-like behavior, were consistent with those found in the theoretical predictions.

Different shapes of nanowires

Figure 3 (left) (a) Illustration of different forms of TMC mounted on substrates. Scanning transmission electron microscopy images (b) images of a single nanowire layer section, (c) a double nanowire image, and (d) a 3D batch image of a transmission electron microscopy. Ref. Reprinted with permission. 1. Credit: American Chemical Society (ACS)

Having large numbers of highly crystalline nanowires will surely help physicists to further distinguish and study these exotic structures. Importantly, it is an exciting step to see the real applications of thin atomic wires in transparent and flexible electronics, ultra-efficient devices, and energy storage applications.

Reference: Hong Wa Lim, Yusuke Nakanishi, Zheng Liu, Jiang Pu, Mina Maruyama, Takahiko Endo, Chisato Ando, ​​Hiroshi Shimizu, Kazuhiro Yanagi, Susumu Okada, Taishi Takenobu and Yasumitsu Miyata, December 13, 2020, Dwarf Letters.
DOI: 10.1021 / acs.nanolett.0c03456

This work includes JST CREST Grants (JPMJCR16F3, JPMJCR17I5), Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) KAKENHI Scientific Research Grants (B) (JP18H01832, JP19H02543, JP20H02572, JP20H02573), Young Scientists (JP19K153), JP19K153), About Innovators (JP20H05189, JP26102012), Specially Promoted Research (JP25000003), Challenging Research (Exploratory) (19K22127) and Scientific Research (A) (JP17H01069), and grants from the Murata Science Foundation (2019, H31-068) and Japan’s Keirin Autorace Foundation (2020M-121). This work has been partially carried out with the support of the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) “Nanotechnology Platform Program” at the AIST Nano-Processing Facility. Scholarship numbers JPMXP09F19008709 and 20009034.

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