Semiconductor Nanowires and Nanowire-based Devices
Semiconductor nanowires are tiny semiconductor crystals approximately 50 nanometers wide and up to 10 microns long that allow opportunities for building novel electronic devices from the bottom up by self-assembly. We are interested in novel strategies for electrostatic gating and device fabrication using nanowires towards making new, potentially useful nanowire devices. This includes bringing materials across from organic electronics, e.g., polymer electrolytes, to add function to 'traditionally hard' semiconductors, e.g., III-Vs. We are also interested in the electronic properties of semiconductor nanowires.
Nanoelectronics as a Tool in Biology
Carbon nanotubes and ultra-thin semiconductor nanowires have a high surface-to-volume ratio that makes their conductivity highly sensitive to their near surface charge environment. This provides the potential to detect conformational changes in proteins bound to the nanowire/nanotube by analysis of the transistor current. Our aim is to extend this as a tool for studying dynamical aspects of biological molecular motor systems at sub-ms timescales.
Novel Materials for Electronics
The ability to make electronics based on low-cost flexible polymer films is tantalizing, and in a collaboration with researchers at the University of Queensland we have looked at how this might be realised using ion-beam techniques. We are also interested in organic semiconductors where the properties can be tailored chemically, and in collaboration with researchers at the University of Kentucky we have been exploring new routes to post-deposition crystallization of soluble acenes. We have also worked on polymer electrolytes and their combination with traditionally hard materials, such as III-V semiconductor nanowires.