Electrical & Computer Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



United States Patent No.: US 8,389,387 B2 Mar. 5, 2013


US govt doc. Public Domain


Vapor-liquid-solid growth of nanowires is tailored to achieve complex one-dimensional material geometries using phase diagrams determined for nanoscale materials. Segmented one-dimensional nanowires having constant composition dis play locally variable electronic band structures that are deter mined by the diameter of the nanowires. The unique electrical and optical properties of the segmented nanowires are exploited to form electronic and optoelectronic devices. Using gold-germanium as a model system, in situ transmis sion electron microscopy establishes, for nanometer-sized Au Ge alloy drops at the tips of Ge nanowires (NWs), the parts of the phase diagram that determine their temperature dependent equilibrium composition. The nanoscale phase diagram is then used to determine the exchange of material between the NW and the drop. The phase diagram for the nanoscale drop deviates significantly from that of the bulk alloy.