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Nanowire film for cheaper, faster electronics

Roland Piquepaille writes of Better Displays With New Nanowire Film: progress in applying silicon nanowires to glass and plastic, which "might lead to better and flexible displays or wearable computers".

Roland Piquepaille writes:

A Harvard University team has successfully applied a film of nanowires on glass and plastic. This might lead to better and flexible displays or wearable computers, says the American Chemical Society, in "Nanowire film brings cheaper, faster electronics a step closer." "By using a 'bottom-up' approach pioneered by our group, which involves assembly of pre-formed nanoscale building blocks into functional devices, we can apply a film of nanowires to glass or plastics long after growth, and do so at room temperature," says Charles M. Lieber, professor of chemistry at Harvard. The researchers think that the first applications will be improved smart cards or LCD displays. But they also have a vision for the next decade. "One could imagine, for instance, contact lenses with displays and miniature computers on them, so that you can experience a virtual tour of a new city as you walk around." This overview contains more details and references. It also includes a picture of a high-density crossbar nanostructure, whose geometry can serve as the basis for many applications, like bio-sensor arrays or high-density data storage.

One Response to “Nanowire film for cheaper, faster electronics”

  1. Anonymous Coward Says:

    Really as in laser printing?

    Using a liquid solution of the silicon nanowires, the researchers have demonstrated that they can deposit the silicon onto glass or plastic surfaces – similar to applying the ink of a laser printer to a piece of paper – to make functional nanowire devices.

    Are we meant to take this literally? Are they charging up the glass or plastic surfaces, writing the wire traces with a laser (or a different beam in this case?), and then pouring liquid nanowire solution over them? If so, how are the wires then made permanent?

    Or is the reference to laser printers just a loose analogy?

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