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Nanowire Transistor Performance Limits and Applications

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3 Author(s)
Wei Lu ; Dept. of Electr. Eng. & Comput. Sci., Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI ; Ping Xie ; Charles M. Lieber

Semiconductor nanowires represent unique materials for exploring phenomena at the nanoscale. Developments in nanowire growth have led to the demonstration of a wide range of nanowire materials with precise control of composition, morphology, and electrical properties, and it is believed that this excellent control together with small channel size could yield device performance exceeding that obtained using top-down techniques. Here, we review advances in chemically synthesized semiconductor nanowires as nanoelectronic devices. We first introduce basic nanowire field-effect transistor structures and review results obtained from both p- and n-channel homogeneous composition nanowires. Second, we describe nanowire heterostructures, show that by using nanowire heterostructures, several limiting factors in homogeneous nanowire devices can be mitigated, and demonstrate that nanowire transistor performance can reach the ballistic limit and exceed state-of-the-art planar devices. Third, we discuss basic methods for organization of nanowires necessary for fabricating arrays of device and circuits. Fourth, we introduce the concept of crossbar nanowire circuits, discuss results for both transistor and nonvolatile switch devices, and describe unique approaches for multiplexing/demultiplexing enabled by synthetically coded nanowire. Fifth, we discuss the unique application of thin-film nanowire transistor arrays on low-cost substrates and illustrate this with results for relatively high-frequency ring oscillators and completely transparent device arrays. Finally, we describe 3-D heterogeneous integration that is uniquely enabled by multifunctional nanowires within a bottom-up approach.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices  (Volume:55 ,  Issue: 11 )