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Quantum mechanical effects determine nanowire resistance

When the diameter of a semiconductor nanowire shrinks further and further the electronic transport is affected strongly by quantum confinement effects. This was recently found out by researchers at Peter Grünberg Institute (PGI-9), RWTH Aachen University, and University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

he For the measurements needle-shaped nanowires made out of InN were chosen. The nanowire diameter was as small as 35 nanometers and gradually increased to 300 nanometers. When the lateral size becomes smaller than 80 nanometers a strong increase of the nanowire resistance was observed. This strong increase is explained by the fact that atoms providing electrons for the electrical transport already "see" the nanowire boundaries if the nanowire diameter is very small. As a consequence, the electrons aren't released that easily so that the nanowire conductance is reduced. The results obtained here are relevant for the design of future nanoscaled electronic devices, where the dimensions approach dimensions of a few tenth of nanometers.

Nano Letters Article

Spezifischer Widerstand als Funktion des NanodrahtdurchmessersSpezifischer Widerstand als Funktion des Nanodrahtdurchmessers. Der Nanodraht besteht aus InN. Die rechte Abbildung illustriert die elektronischen Zustände der Fremdatome in Bezug auf das Leitungs- und Valenzband.
Source: Nano Letters