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US7211464: Doped elongated semiconductors, growing such semiconductors, devices including such semiconductors and fabricating such devices

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Filing Information

Inventor(s) Charles M. Lieber · Yi Cui · Xiangfeng Duan · Yu Huang ·
Assignee(s) President & Fellows of Harvard College ·
Attorney/Agent(s) Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks ·
Primary Examiner Walter L. Lindsay, Jr. ·
Application Number US11082372
Filing date 03/17/2005
Issue date 05/01/2007
Prior Publication Data
Predicted expiration date 11/12/2021
Patent term adjustment 82
U.S. Classifications 438/99  · 257/E29.086  · 977/762  · 977/936  · 423/447.3  · 257/E29.174  · 257/E51.023  · 438/962  ·
International Classifications D01C500  · D01F912  · H01L5140  ·
Kind CodeB2
Related U.S. Application DataRELATED APPLICATIONS
This application is a divisional of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/935,776, entitled “Doped Elongated Semiconductors, Growing Such Semiconductors, Devices Including Such Semiconductors And Fabricating Such Devices, filed Aug. 22, 2001; which claims priority under 35 U.S.C. § 119(e) to commonly-owned, co-pending U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/226,835, entitled, “Semiconductor Nanowires”, filed Aug. 22, 2000; Ser. No. 60/292,121, entitled, “Semiconductor Nanowires”, filed May 18, 2001; Ser. No. 60/254,745, entitled, “Nanowire and Nanotube Nanosensors,” filed Dec. 11, 2000; Ser. No. 60/292,035, entitled “Nanowire and Nanotube Nanosensors,” filed May 18, 2001; Ser. No. 60/292,045, entitled “Nanowire Electronic Devices Including Memory and Switching Devices,” filed May 18, 2001; and Ser. No. 60/291,896, entitled “Nanowire Devices Including Emissive Elements and Sensors,” filed May 18, 2001, each of which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.
35 Claims, 44 Drawings


Abstract

A bulk-doped semiconductor that is at least one of the following: a single crystal, an elongated and bulk-doped semiconductor that, at any point along its longitudinal axis, has a largest cross-sectional dimension less than 500 nanometers, and a free-standing and bulk-doped semiconductor with at least one portion having a smallest width of less than 500 nanometers. Such a semiconductor may comprise an interior core comprising a first semiconductor; and an exterior shell comprising a different material than the first semiconductor. Such a semiconductor may be elongated and may have, at any point along a longitudinal section of such a semiconductor, a ratio of the length of the section to a longest width is greater than 4:1, or greater than 10:1, or greater than 100:1, or even greater than 1000:1. At least one portion of such a semiconductor may a smallest width of less than 200 nanometers, or less than 150 nanometers, or less than 100 nanometers, or less than 80 nanometers, or less than 70 nanometers, or less than 60 nanometers, or less than 40 nanometers, or less than 20 nanometers, or less than 10 nanometers, or even less than 5 nanometers. Such a semiconductor may be a single crystal and may be free-standing. Such a semiconductor may be either lightly n-doped, heavily n-doped, lightly p-doped or heavily p-doped. Such a semiconductor may be doped during growth. Such a semiconductor may be part of a device, which may include any of a variety of devices and combinations thereof, and, a variety of assembling techniques may be used to fabricate devices from such a semiconductor. Two or more of such a semiconductors, including an array of such semiconductors, may be combined to form devices, for example, to form a crossed p-n junction of a device. Such devices at certain sizes may exhibit quantum confinement and other quantum phenomena, and the wavelength of light emitted from one or more of such semiconductors may be controlled by selecting a width of such semiconductors. Such semiconductors and device made therefrom may be used for a variety of applications.

Independent Claims | See all claims (35)

  1. 1. A method, comprising: growing a population of semiconductor nanowires, each having at least one portion having a smallest width less than 500 nanometers, catalytically from catalyst colloid particles having a variation in diameter of less than about 20% and being selected such that the population of semiconductor nanowires produced according to the method has a variation in diameter of less than 20%.
  2. 8. A method, comprising: growing a population of semiconductor nanowires and doping the population of semiconductor nanowires while growing the semiconductor nanowires to produce a population of doped semiconductor nanowires, each of the semiconductor nanowires having at least one portion having a smallest width less than 500 nanometers, wherein the act of growing comprises growing the population of semiconductor nanowires catalytically from catalyst colloid particles selected such that the population of semiconductor nanowires produced according to the method has a variation in diameter of less than 20%.
  3. 11. A method, comprising: growing a population of semiconductor nanowires using laser-assisted catalytic growth, each having at least one portion having a smallest width less than 500 nanometers, catalytically from catalyst colloid particles selected such that the population of semiconductor nanowires produced according to the method has a variation in diameter of less than 20%.
  4. 12. A method, comprising: growing a population of semiconductor nanowires, each having at least one portion having a smallest width less than 500 nanometers, catalytically from catalyst colloid particles selected such that the population of semiconductor nanowires produced according to the method has a variation in diameter of less than 20%; contacting a solution comprising the one or more semiconductor nanowires to a surface to deposit the one or more semiconductor nanowires on the surface; and orienting said one or more semiconductor nanowires using an electric field to align the one or more semiconductor nanowires on the surface.
  5. 18. A method, comprising: growing a population of semiconductor nanowires, each having at least one portion having a smallest width less than 500 nanometers, catalytically from catalyst colloid particles selected such that the population of semiconductor nanowires produced according to the method has a variation in diameter of less than 20%; contacting a solution comprising the one or more semiconductor nanowires to a surface to deposit the one or more semiconductor nanowires on the surface; and orienting the one or more semiconductor nanowires by applying a mechanical tool to align the one or more semiconductor nanowires on the surface.
  6. 20. A method, comprising: growing a population of semiconductor nanowires, each having at least one portion having a smallest width less than 500 nanometers, catalytically from catalyst colloid particles selected such that the population of semiconductor nanowires produced according to the method has a variation in diameter of less than 20%; functionalizing a surface with one or more functional groups which have an affinity for the semiconductor nanowires to condition the surface to attach the one or more semiconductor nanowires to the surface; and depositing one or more semiconductor nanowires on the surface.
  7. 23. A method, comprising: growing a population of semiconductor nanowires, each having at least one portion having a smallest width less than 500 nanometers, catalytically from catalyst colloid particles selected such that the population of semiconductor nanowires produced according to the method has a variation in diameter of less than 20%; and depositing the semiconductor nanowires on a surface to form a field-effect transistor.
  8. 25. A method, comprising: growing a population of semiconductor nanowires, each having at least one portion having a smallest width less than 500 nanometers, catalytically from catalyst colloid particles selected such that the population of semiconductor nanowires produced according to the method has a variation in diameter of less than 20%; and depositing the semiconductor nanowires on the surface to form a device comprising one or more than one of a switch, a diode, a light-emitting diode, a tunnel diode, a Schottky diode, a Bipolar Junction Transistor, an inverter, an optical sensor, a sensor for an analyte, a memory device, a laser, a logic gate, a latch, a register, an amplifier, a signal processor, a digital or analog circuit, a light emission source, a photodiode, a phototransistor, a photovoltaic device, or combinations thereof.
  9. 26. A method, comprising: growing a population of semiconductor nanowires, each having at least one portion having a smallest width less than 500 nanometers, catalytically from catalyst colloid particles selected such that the population of semiconductor nanowires produced according to the method has a variation in diameter of less than 20%, wherein at least some of the catalyst colloid particles comprises gold.
  10. 28. A method comprising making a semiconductor nanowire junction by crossing at least one p-type semiconductor nanowire with at least one n-type semiconductor nanowire, wherein one or both of the p-type semiconductor nanowire and the n-type semiconductor nanowire are chosen from a population of semiconductor nanowires grown according to a method comprising growing a population of semiconductor nanowires, each having at least one portion having a smallest width less than 500 nanometers, catalytically from catalyst colloid particles selected such that the population of semiconductor nanowires produced according to the method has a variation in diameter of less than 20%.
  11. 29. A method, comprising: growing a population of semiconductor nanowires, each having at least one portion having a smallest width less than 500 nanometers, catalytically from catalyst colloid particles selected such that the population of semiconductor nanowires produced according to the method has a variation in diameter of less than 20%, wherein the population of semiconductor nanowires have a variation in diameter of less than about 10%.
  12. 30. A method, comprising: growing a population of semiconductor nanowires, each having at least one portion having a smallest width less than 500 nanometers, catalytically from catalyst colloid particles pre-selected to minimize aggregation and to have substantially uniform size selected such that at least four of the semiconductor nanowires have a variation in diameter of less than 20%, wherein the grown semiconductor nanowires have a variation in diameter of less than about 10%.
  13. 31. A method, comprising: growing a population of semiconductor nanowires, each having at least one portion having a smallest width less than 500 nanometers, catalytically from catalyst colloid particles pre-selected to minimize aggregation and to have substantially uniform size selected such that at least four of the semiconductor nanowires have a variation in diameter of less than 20%, wherein the catalyst colloid particles are pre-selected by dilution.
  14. 32. A method, comprising: growing a population of semiconductor nanowires, each having at least one portion having a smallest width less than 500 nanometers, from size-selected catalyst colloid particles, wherein the catalyst colloid particles are size-selected to have a variation in diameter of less than about 20%.
  15. 34. A method, comprising: growing a population of semiconductor nanowires, each having at least one portion having a smallest width less than 500 nanometers, from size-selected catalyst colloid particles, wherein the catalyst colloid particles are size-selected by dilution.
  16. 35. A method, comprising: growing a population of semiconductor nanowires using laser-assisted catalytic growth, each having at least one portion having a smallest width less than 500 nanometers, from size-selected catalyst colloid particles.

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