NIRT: Molecular and Electronic Devices Based on Novel One-Dimensional Nanopore Arrays

  • Chen, Zhi (PI)
  • Hinds, Bruce (CoI)
  • Singh, Vijay (CoI)

Grants and Contracts Details


Most nanowires and nanotubes are grown as random or cntanglcd strings on substratcs, which are of little interest to engineers. Well-aligned nanowires and nanotubes grown on substrates are imperative for elcctronic device applications. Self-orgamzed anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) with a honeycomb nanostructure of columnar hexagonal cells and nanopores, has attracted considerable interest. Bccause of its high aspect ratio (-1000), high pore dcnsity (_10" pores/cm'), and high level of ordering and uniformity, it has been used as a template for fabrication of numerous nanoscalc structures. Although it has demonstrated potential for nanofabrication, it is still difficult to utilize AAO for fabrication of nanoelectronic devices and nano-electromechanical systems (NEMS). This is because nanopores in all the AAO templates arc formed vertically on substratcs in two dimension>"(2-D), not compatible with the mainstream planar proccssing technology. Recently, under the support of NSF NER program, the PI successfully fabricated an AAO templatc with a one-dimensional (i-D) array of nanopores horizontally aligncd on a silicon substrate. This novel structure provides a grcat potential for fabrication of molecular and electronic device compatible Witllthe planar processing technology. In this proposal, we plan to usc the novel horizontal 1-0 array nanotemplate to develop innovative processes for fabrication of quantum and molecular deviccs. We aim to pursue rcsearch in four main thmsts. In the first thmst, building upon our success, we continue to refine the process for improving the 1-0 horizontal nanostructure, to reduce thc pore size of the 1-0 nanotemplate doml to 1 nm using atomic layer deposition, and to grow a 1-0 array of carbon nanotubes and nanowircs aligned horizontally on thc silicon substrate. In the second thmst, we will fabricate single-electron transistor (SET) arrays based on the horizontal 1-0 array of nanowires. In the third thmst, we aim to utilize the horizontal 1-0 nanpore array for fabrication of in-wire molecular junction arrays and to use thc horizontal 1-0 array ofCNTs for fabrication of nanoscale electrodes to isolate single molecules. In the fourth thmst, we will characterize the horizontal 1-0 array of nanopores and individual in-wire nanodevices using conductive AFM. The intellectual merit of the proposed activities is to advance the self-assembled AAO template technique toward high-level and large-scale integration of devices compatible with the mainstream planar process technology. We have asscmbled an interdisciplinary team consisting of Co-PIs with complementary backgrounds in Electrical Engineering, Chemistry, and Materials Sciencc. We propose a highly integrated approach to this projcct whcre the collective contributions of the team membcrs are critical to achieving the final goal. The PI's and Co-PIs' experience and cxisting strength will ensure that the projcct is carried out fully as proposed. The broadcr impacts of the proposed work include significant advancement of critical bottom-up selfassembly proccsscs, cnhancement of multidisciplinary research, education and training of tomorrow's scientists and engineers in nanotechnology. The research proposed here will lay a foundation for highdensity and large-scale integration of nanotubc and nanowire~bascd quantum and molecular devices and advance the bottom-up self-assembly processes from conceptual to practical. This unique horizontal 1-0 structure will fmd broad applications in basic undcrstanding of transport of moleculcs, new fabrication procedures, and practical industrial applications. The proposed education activities will cnhancc the involvement of graduate students in the multidisciplinary environment and also impact Appalachian communities (economically depressed group) through focused K-12 outreach.
Effective start/end date7/15/066/30/11


  • National Science Foundation: $1,206,000.00


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