Nanostructures such as carbon nanotubes, nanowires and graphene are being intensively explored for future electronic, photonic, and energy applications. In order for these nanosystems to progress from the research laboratory to technology, it is critical to precisely understand and control charge injection at the electrical contacts. While the scientific community and the semiconductor industry have invested significant resources to develop and control contacts to bulk semiconductor materials, charge injection at metal/nanostructure interfaces has received much less attention despite the obvious technological importance. Because nanostructures possess unique properties that differ significantly from bulk semiconductors, existing models of electrical contacts in bulk devices are often inapplicable at the nanoscale. In this review, we discuss experimental and theoretical work that has highlighted the much different physics and materials science of electrical contacts to nanostructures, and the key research and development challenges that must be addressed to understand and control nanocontacts.
Citation: Nature Nanotechnology
Pub Type: Journals
nanocontact, metal-semiconductor contact, nanowire, nanotube, graphene, review