Semiconductor quantum nanowires offer new applications in areas such as chemical sensors, NEMs, nanolasers, and nanoscale thermoelectric devices. A key aspect of these structures that makes the research challenging and enables the utility of various nanowire devices is that many physical phenomena do not scale from the macro to nano regimes. Our research primarily focuses on nanowires grown from wide-bandgap semiconductors especially the group III-nitride (GaN, AlN, InN) material system. We are interested in nanowire growth techniques that include MBE, vapor transport, and catalyst methods. We are interested in a range of research topics, from the applied to the fundamental, covering such areas as understanding the evolution of the microstructure of nitride semiconductors; development of nanotemplates for patterned growth of nanowires; optimization of p-type doping in nanostructures; developing methods of making electrical contact to single nanowires or arrays of nanowires; and development of new measurement methods for quantifying nanoscale piezoelectric, transport, and optoelectronic phenomena. Current device interests include nanowire lasers, LEDs, photodetectors (primarily in the UV), solar cells, UV and visible light emitters (i.e., for solid state lighting and water purification), and field emitting ion sources for mass spectrometry. We are also working on the design and fabrication of prototype nanowire electronic devices such as FETs. We welcome proposals aimed at new technological aspects of semiconductor quantum nanowire research and application. Our characterization resources include triple-axis x-ray diffraction, atomic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, ultrafast nonlinear optical characterization, near-field scanning optical microscopy, cw and time-resolved photoluminescence, device processing, and electrical measurements. Opportunities exist for collaborative work within NIST for more specialized characterization such as TEM, field-emission SEM, STM, cathodoluminescence, nanoscale electrical and thermal measurements.
Our existing programs use gas-source molecular beam epitaxy growth of nitrides, phosphides, and arsenides with a focus on nanostructures. Other in-house collaboration includes vapor phase and catalyst growth methods for nanowire growth. Also, a wide range of clean room processing equipment is available in order to carry out prototyping of specialized nanostructures.
Nanotechnology; Quantum nanowires; Three-nitride semiconductors; Wide band-gap semiconductors;