Turkish researchers at Bilkent University in Ankara have recently discovered a means of reliably producing nanowires through a thermal size-reduction process that will be featured on the cover of Nature Materials July 2011 issue. From a June 17, 2011 news item in the Hürriyet Daily News (Istanbul),
A group of Turkish researchers at an Ankara university have manufactured the longest and thinnest nanowires ever produced, by employing a novel method to shrink matter 10-million fold.
The invention, discovered at Bilkent University’s National Nanotechnology Research Center, or UNAM, is set to appear on the cover of Nature Material magazine’s July edition.
“At this moment, we may not even be able to predict what things will be produced [in the future] using this method,” said Associate Professor Mehmet Bayýndýr who led the research team.
The research team was trying to obtain a patent for their invention, as well as preparing to apply to the Guinness Book of Records for producing the world’s longest and thinnest semiconductor nanowire.
Here’s a little more information about nanowires and some detail about the thermal-size reduction process from the study in Nature Materials’ (full article is behind a paywall) online publication,
Nanowires are arguably the most studied nanomaterial model to make functional devices and arrays. … Here we report a new thermal size-reduction process to produce well-ordered, globally oriented, indefinitely long nanowire and nanotube arrays with different materials. The new technique involves iterative co-drawing of hermetically sealed multimaterials in compatible polymer matrices similar to fibre drawing. Globally oriented, endlessly parallel, axially and radially uniform semiconducting and piezoelectric nanowire and nanotube arrays hundreds of metres long, with nanowire diameters less than 15 nm, are obtained. The resulting nanostructures are sealed inside a flexible substrate, facilitating the handling of and electrical contacting to the nanowires. Inexpensive, high-throughput, multimaterial nanowire arrays pave the way for applications including nanowire-based large-area flexible sensor platforms, phase-changememory, nanostructure-enhanced photovoltaics, semiconductor nanophotonics, dielectric metamaterials,linear and nonlinear photonics and nanowire-enabled high-performance composites.
For interested parties, here’s the citation:
Arrays of indefinitely long uniform nanowires and nanotubes by Mecit Yaman, Tural Khudiyev, Erol Ozur, Mehmet Kanik, Ozan Aktas, Ekin O. Ozgur, Hakan Deniz, Enes Korkut, and Mehmet Bayindir. Nature Materials July 2011. Published online June 12, 2011. doi:10.1038/nmat3038