, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 579-597
Date: 19 Oct 2006

One-dimensional Germanium Nanowires for Future Electronics

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Field- and quantum-effect nanoelectronic devices built on one-dimensional (1-D) chemically synthesized nanostructures are likely among those immediate “successors” of the contemporary top–down silicon CMOS technology for future computing, preserving the spirit of Moore’s Law in the post-CMOS era. The nanotechnology-embedded chip technology would emerge in the foreseeable future. However, there exists a large gap between scientific research and semiconductor electronics. Many of the critical issues need to be addressed before nanotechnology becomes truly impacting. Application-driven nanotechnology research becomes more and more important. In this article, with 1-D germanium nanowire as an example, we discuss research efforts at NASA Ames Center for Nanotechnology in directing nanomaterial synthesis and device integration towards implementation in the next-generation miniaturized and intelligent chip systems. The technology goals include (i) low-temperature, low-defect, high-yield Ge nanowire synthesis, (ii) self-assembly of Ge nanowires-on-insulator (GeNOI), (iii) non-contaminating metal catalysts, and (iv) Ge quantum-wire synthesis. The potential applications of 1-D Ge nanowires are very low power, high performance logic FETs that deeply extend CMOS scaling into nanometer regime and extremely low power, fast speed, room-temperature-operating quantum-wire computing.