Germanium Nanowires

Authored by: Sanjay V. Khare , Sunil Kumar R. Patil , Suneel Kodambaka

Handbook of Nanophysics

Print publication date:  September  2010
Online publication date:  September  2010

Print ISBN: 9781420075427
eBook ISBN: 9781420075434
Adobe ISBN:


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In a nanowire (NW), the momentum of an electron is confined in two directions, thus allowing for electron motion only in one direction (a NW is a one degree of freedom structure and is often called a one-dimensional nanostructure if its diameter is less than 100 nm). This reduction in dimensionality results in dramatic quantum effects dependent on wire material, axis orientation, length, and diameter. These quantum effects in NWs change the electrical, chemical, and mechanical properties to name but a few. Thus, NWs exhibit properties and applications very different from their bulk form. Therefore, they have been assiduously studied recently by experimentalists and theorists for their potential applications in electronic devices and sensors. Investigations for a thorough theoretical understanding of the structure–property relationship for many NWs and NW devices are currently in progress across scientific and engineering disciplines. This research is being carried out on the theoretical side by a multi-scale approach to the atomic simulation of these materials. On the experimental side, a careful study of growth, characterization, and device assembly is ongoing. This chapter gives a brief introduction to this twofold approach. Ample references for further study are also provided. This chapter is divided into five sections. Section 16.2 briefly reviews an elementary NW model derived from the steady-state (time-independent) Schrödinger equation. The aim of this section is to show the profound effect dimensionality has on the electronic properties of a nanostructure. Section 16.3 reviews some Ge NW growth experiments and measurements of Ge NW properties. The electrical, optical, mechanical, and surface properties of Ge NW along with their applications are dealt with briefly in Section 16.4. Section 16.5 introduces some of the simulation methods used to study NWs and describes their capabilities and limits and Section 16.6 forms the conclusion.

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