Design and synthesis of diverse functional kinked nanowire structures for nanoelectronic bioprobes

Lin Xu, Zhe Jiang, Quan Qing, Liqiang Mai, Qingjie Zhang, Charles M. Lieber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Functional kinked nanowires (KNWs) represent a new class of nanowire building blocks, in which functional devices, for example, nanoscale field-effect transistors (nanoFETs), are encoded in geometrically controlled nanowire superstructures during synthesis. The bottom-up control of both structure and function of KNWs enables construction of spatially isolated point-like nanoelectronic probes that are especially useful for monitoring biological systems where finely tuned feature size and structure are highly desired. Here we present three new types of functional KNWs including (1) the zero-degree KNW structures with two parallel heavily doped arms of U-shaped structures with a nanoFET at the tip of the "U", (2) series multiplexed functional KNW integrating multi-nanoFETs along the arm and at the tips of V-shaped structures, and (3) parallel multiplexed KNWs integrating nanoFETs at the two tips of W-shaped structures. First, U-shaped KNWs were synthesized with separations as small as 650 nm between the parallel arms and used to fabricate three-dimensional nanoFET probes at least 3 times smaller than previous V-shaped designs. In addition, multiple nanoFETs were encoded during synthesis in one of the arms/tip of V-shaped and distinct arms/tips of W-shaped KNWs. These new multiplexed KNW structures were structurally verified by optical and electron microscopy of dopant-selective etched samples and electrically characterized using scanning gate microscopy and transport measurements. The facile design and bottom-up synthesis of these diverse functional KNWs provides a growing toolbox of building blocks for fabricating highly compact and multiplexed three-dimensional nanoprobes for applications in life sciences, including intracellular and deep tissue/cell recordings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)746-751
Number of pages6
JournalNano Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 13 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Silicon nanowire
  • field-effect transistor
  • nanoprobe
  • nanosensor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Design and synthesis of diverse functional kinked nanowire structures for nanoelectronic bioprobes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this