Tellurium nanowires paved the way for next-generation electronics

Scientists have created a nanometer-thick wire, which consists of chains of tellurium atoms located inside a boron nitride nanotube. This structure conducts electricity well, is insulated, and can be controlled by light or pressure..

Electronics are gradually becoming smaller and more efficient, so there is a growing demand for new wiring materials that should not only perform their basic functions well, but bend without cracks or breaks, as well as withstand temperature changes or even shock. Without this, the existence of full-fledged wearable gadgets, electronic fabric, ultra-thin devices is impossible.

A team of physicists at Michigan Technological University has created tiny boron nitride straws that are only 2 nm in diameter and have a wall thickness of 1 atom. They are strong, flexible and have good insulating properties. Then the scientists stretched through the hollow tube atomic chains of tellurium, which have a good current carrying capacity with a current density of 1.5×108 A cm-2. The result is a tiny sheathed wire.

According to physicists, tellurium has a number of unique characteristics and, unlike silicon, the atoms in its chain are arranged not in a straight line, but in the form of a spiral..

The Future of Flexible Electronics

Tellurium nanowires paved the way for next-generation electronics

The team used these nanowires to create 2 nm wide field effect transistors. They also experimented with single strand and triple beam encapsulation of tellurium atoms.. In addition, tellurium-filled nanowires are sensitive to light and pressure, which is another promising aspect for future electronics..

Before using such nanowires in real devices, scientists have to carefully study their properties and potential..

We also previously reported that engineers have developed transistors entirely composed of linen filaments covered with carbon nanotubes that can be used to create any logic and integrated circuits or entire electronic devices.

text: Ilya Bauer, photo: goodfon

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