Nanobelts may enable mass production of nanoscale electronic devices

March 9, 2001 | Source: KurzweilAI

ATLANTA — Researchers have created a new class of nanometer-scale structures that could lead to inexpensive ultra-small sensors, flat-panel display components and other electronic nanodevices with low power consumption and high sensitivity.

Made of semiconducting metal oxides, these extremely thin and flat structures — dubbed “nanobelts” — offer significant advantages over nanowires and carbon nanotubes, said Zhong Lin Wang, professor of Materials Science and Engineering and director of the Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Nanobelts are chemically pure, structurally uniform and largely defect-free, with clean surfaces not requiring protection against oxidation. Each is made up of a single crystal with specific surface planes and shape.

Described for the first time in the March 9 issue of the journal Science, nanobelts could provide the kind of uniform structure needed to make practical the mass-production of nanoscale electronic and optoelectronic devices.