Monday, July 13, 2009

Nanowires are a class of structures with useful electrical, optical, and mechanical properties that vary significantly from those of the bulk material. Visible light diffraction is a simple and inexpensive optical method that is highly sensitive to the structure of the light scattering medium. Now, Aaron R. Halpern, Naoya Nishi, Jia Wen, Fan Yang, Chengxiang Xiang, Reginald M. Penner, and Robert M. Corn have combined the two by fabricating gold and palladium nanowire arrays and gratings for diffraction experiments. These have potential applications in diffraction-based chemical and biochemical sensing. The cover image shows (left) the process of creating nanowire arrays on a glass substrate via a combined photoresist electrodeposition process, (top right) a 3D schematic of the diffraction experiment, and (bottom right) data obtained from the diffraction experiment.

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