Big news in nanowires

Posted by
On April 2, 2015

Two Missouri S&T chemistry researchers are growing nanowires using electrodeposition. Their work could improve batteries and fuel cells, among other applications.

Manashi Nath (left) and Jay A. Switzer stand in front of their respective nanowire creations.

Manashi Nath (left) and Jay A. Switzer stand in front of their respective nanowire creations.

Manashi Nath, an assistant professor of chemistry at Missouri S&T, is growing nanowire arrays with a determined diameter and length and a uniform consistency.

First she writes a file that creates a pattern for the desired shape and size. Then using electron beam lithography, she stamps the pattern onto a polymer matrix and applies electric current to grow the nanowires. This uniform approach could improve efficiency of solar cells and fuel cells. The wires could also be used in the biomedical field to maximize heat production in hyperthermia treatment of cancer.

Nath’s work is funded by the American Chemical Society.

Jay A. Switzer, the Donald L. Castleman/Foundation for Chemical Research Professor of Discovery at Missouri S&T, is growing nanowires out of germanium from an aqueous solution. The process, which Switzer compares to growing rock candy on a string, could make it more feasible to use germanium in lithium-ion batteries.

Germanium is a better semiconductor than silicon, Switzer says, but it is too expensive to process for widespread use in batteries, solar cells, transistors or other applications.

“The high conductivity (of germanium nanowires) makes them ideal for lithium-ion battery applications,” Switzer says. His research, which could lead to a less-expensive way to produce the material, is funded through a $1.22 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Basic Energy Science.

mm
Posted by

On April 2, 2015. Posted in Around the Puck, News, Spring 2015

Recent Posts

Celebrating 150 Years

Celebrating 150 Years

From hardscrabble, “country academy” roots, how we became a global research university Rolla in [...]
Innovation, the Rolla way

Innovation, the Rolla way

Since our founding, S&T and innovation have been tightly connected. From advances in materials,[...]
Keeping history alive

Keeping history alive

Several authors have written history books about S&T, but no tome can contain all the informati[...]
New book chronicles university's history

New book chronicles university's history

Larry Gragg, Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor emeritus of history and political science, [...]
What lies ahead for S&T's next 150 years?

What lies ahead for S&T's next 150 years?

 As Missouri S&T launches its 150th anniversary celebration, the world continues to recove[...]