Wednesday, 26 October, 2011
Nanowires are more heterogeneous than anticipated
Further progress in the miniaturization of electronic circuitry using conventional approaches will soon reach its limits. Delicate, inorganic semiconducting nanowires offer a possible means of extending these limits, and are of great interest for applications in the areas of optoelectronics and photovoltaics. However, the physical properties of these tiny structures are poorly understood. With few exceptions, optical investigations on nanowires have so far been carried out almost exclusively by conventional optical microscopy, which has limited spatial resolution, says Professor Achim Hartschuh of the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy at LMU Munich. He and his group have helped to develop a new method, called tip-enhanced near-field microscopy, which makes use of a tapered metal tip as an optical antenna.