Inorganic Nanowires : Applications, Properties, and Characterization book cover
1st Edition

Inorganic Nanowires
Applications, Properties, and Characterization

ISBN 9781420067828
Published December 10, 2009 by CRC Press
450 Pages 257 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Advances in nanofabrication, characterization tools, and the drive to commercialize nanotechnology products have contributed to the significant increase in research on inorganic nanowires (INWs). Yet few if any books provide the necessary comprehensive and coherent account of this important evolution.

Presenting essential information on both popular and emerging varieties, Inorganic Nanowires: Applications, Properties, and Characterization addresses the growth, characterization, and properties of nanowires. Author Meyyappan is the director and senior scientist at Ames Center for Nanotechnology and a renowned leader in nanoscience and technology, and Sunkara is also a major contributor to nanowire literature. Their cutting-edge work is the basis for much of the current understanding in the area of nanowires, and this book offers an in-depth overview of various types of nanowires, including semiconducting, metallic, and oxide varieties. It also includes extensive coverage of applications that use INWs and those with great potential in electronics, optoelectronics, field emission, thermoelectric devices, and sensors.

This invaluable reference:

  • Traces the evolution of nanotechnology and classifies nanomaterials
  • Describes nanowires and their potential applications to illustrate connectivity and continuity
  • Discusses growth techniques, at both laboratory and commercial scales
  • Evaluates the most important aspects of classical thermodynamics associated with the nucleation and growth of nanowires
  • Details the development of silicon, germanium, gallium arsenide, and other materials in the form of nanowires used in electronics applications
  • Explores the physical, electronic and other properties of nanowires

The explosion of nanotechnology research activities for various applications is due in large part to the advances in the growth of nanowires. Continued development of novel nanostructured materials is essential to the success of so many economic sectors, ranging from computing and communications to transportation and medicine. This volume discusses how and why nanowires are ideal candidates to replace bulk and thin film materials. It covers the principles behind device operation and then adds a detailed assessment of nanowire fabrication, performance results, and future prospects and challenges, making this book a valuable resource for scientists and engineers in just about any field.

Co-author Meyya Meyyappan will receive the Pioneer Award in Nanotechnology from the IEEE Nanotechnology Council at the IEEE Nano Conference in Portland, Oregon in August, 2011

Table of Contents


Historical Perspective


Growth Techniques

Liquid-Phase Techniques

Vapor-Phase Techniques

Bulk Production Methods

Future Developments


Thermodynamic and Kinetic Aspects of Nanowire Growth

Thermodynamic Considerations for Vapor-Liquid-Solid Growth

Kinetic Considerations of Nanowire Growth Under VLS Growth


Modeling of Nanowire Growth

Energetics of Stable Surface Faceting: Silicon Nanowire Example

Simulation of Individual Nanowire Growth

Modeling of Multiple Nucleation and Growth of One-Dimensional Structures

Modeling Nanowire Array Growth


Semiconducting Nanowires

Silicon Nanowires

Germanium Nanowires

Catalyst Choice

III-V Nanowires


Phase Change Materials

Phase Change Nanowire Growth

Properties Relevant to PRAM


Metallic Nanowires

Bismuth Nanowires

Silver Nanowires

Copper Nanowires

Nickel Nanowires

Zinc Nanowires


Oxide Nanowires

Synthesis Methodologies

Directed Growth and Morphological Control

Oxygen Vacancies, Doping and Phase Transformation


Nitride Nanowires

Synthesis of Group III-Nitride Nanowires

Branching of Nanowires

Diameter Reduction of III-Nitride Nanowires

Direction Dependent Properties


Other Nanowires







Applications in Electronics

Silicon Nanowire Transistors

Vertical Transistors

Germanium Nanowire Transistors

Zinc Oxide and Other Nanowires in Electronics

III-V Transistors

Memory Devices


Applications in Optoelectronics


Light Emitting Diodes

Nanoscale Lasers


Applications in Sensors

Chemical Sensors



Applications in the Renewable Energy Sector

Solar Cells

Electrochromic Devices

Li Ion Batteries


Other Applications

Field Emission Devices

Thermoelectric Devices

View More



Meyya Meyyappan is the chief scientist for exploration technology at the Center for Nanotechnology, NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. Until June 2006, he served as the director of the Center for Nanotechnology as well as a senior scientist. He is a founding member of the Interagency Working Group on Nanotechnology (IWGN) established by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). The IWGN is responsible for putting together the National Nanotechnology Initiative. Dr. Meyyappan has authored or coauthored more than 190 articles in peer-reviewed journals and has made over 200 invited/keynote/plenary talks on subjects related to nanotechnology across the world. His research interests include carbon nanotubes and various inorganic nanowires, their growth and characterization, and application development in chemicals and biosensors, instrumentation, electronics, and optoelectronics. Dr. Meyyappan is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Electrochemical Society (ECS), the AVS, the Materials Research Society, and the California Council of Science and Technology. In addition, he is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. He is the IEEE Nanotechnology Council Distinguished Lecturer on Nanotechnology, IEEE Electron Devices Society Distinguished Lecturer, and ASME’s Distinguished Lecturer on Nanotechnology (2004–2006). He served as the president of the IEEE’s Nanotechnology Council in 2006–2007. Dr. Meyappan has received numerous awards including a Presidential Meritorious Award; NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal; the Arthur Flemming Award given by the Arthur Flemming Foundation and the George Washington University; the 2008 IEEE Judith Resnick Award; the IEEE-USA Harry Diamond Award; and the AIChE Nanoscale Science and Engineering Forum Award for his contributions and leadership in nanotechnology. He was inducted into the Silicon Valley Engineering Council Hall of Fame in February 2009 for his sustained contributions to nanotechnology. He has received the Outstanding Recognition Award from the NASA Office of Education; the Engineer of the Year Award (2004) by the San Francisco Section of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA); and the IEEE-EDS Education Award and IEEE Educational Activities Board Meritorious Award for Continuing Education for his contributions to the field of education.


Mahendra K. Sunkara is currently a professor of chemical engineering and the founding director of the Institute for Advanced Materials and Renewable Energy (IAM-RE ( at University of Louisville. Dr. Sunkara received his B. Tech. degree in Chemical Engineering from Andhra University (Waltair, Andhra Pradesh, India) in 1986 and M.S., Ph. D. degrees in Chemical Engineering from Clarkson University (Potsdam, New York, USA) in 1988 and Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio, USA) in 1993, respectively. He worked at Faraday Technology, Inc. in Dayton, Ohio from 1993 to 1996 as a project engineer and served as the technical leader/principal investigator on several SBIR research grants dealing with electrochemical technologies for environmental remediation and corrosion sensing and mitigation. Since joining University of Louisville in 1996 as an assistant professor, he received external research contracts in excess of $10 million to support a research program and to establish an Institute for Advanced Materials and Renewable Energy at the school. His research interests and projects include renewable energy technologies such as solar cells, Li Ion batteries, production of hydrogen from water and process development for growing large crystals of diamond, gallium nitride and bulk quantities of nanowires, processes for a set of novel carbon morphologies discovered within his group. He has published over 100 articles in refereed journals and proceedings, four book chapters and was awarded seven U.S. patents along with several additional U.S. patent applications pending. Several national and international news articles appeared on his research work in the area of nanoscale materials and their applications in to Li Ion batteries and sensors, etc. In the last seven years, Dr. Sunkara delivered more than 40 invited and keynote lectures in Germany, the U.S., Taiwan, Slovenia and India. Three of his research articles appeared on the covers of prestigious journals, Advanced Materials and Advanced Functional Materials. He is the founding organizer of an annual statewide workshop on the theme of Materials Nanotechnology (KYNANOMAT) held since 2002. He was awarded the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty in Engineering award in 1999 and was the first recipient of the prestigious CAREER grant in Speed School from the National Science Foundation in 1999. In 2002, the Louisville Magazine placed him in the list of top 25 young guns in the city of Louisville. In 2009, he received the 2009 University of Louisville’s President’s distinguished faculty award for research.