Nano-LEDs

by ARTiFactor on Oct. 03rd, 2010

Growing nanowires horizontally yields "Nano-LEDs

Nano light emitters: Single row of nanowires (cylinders with red tops) with fin-shaped nanowalls extending outward (National Institute of Standards and Technology)
Nano light emitters: Single row of nanowires (cylinders with red tops) with fin-shaped nanowalls extending outward (National Institute of Standards and Technology)Courtesy NIST
These “nano-LEDs” may one day have their light-emission abilities put to work serving miniature devices such as nanogenerators or lab-on-a-chip systems. NIST.gov

In recent work published in ACS Nano,* Nikoobakht and Herzing increased the thickness of the gold catalyst nanoparticle from less than 8 nanometers to approximately 20 nanometers. The change resulted in nanowires that grew a secondary structure, a shark-like “dorsal fin” (referred to as a “nanowall”) where the zinc oxide portion is electron-rich and the gallium nitride portion is electron-poor. The interface between these two materials—known as a p-n heterojunction—allows electrons to flow across it when the nanowire-nanowall combination was charged with electricity. In turn, the movement of electrons produced light and led the researchers to dub it a “nano LED.”

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