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Flexible nanowire layers

Earlier it was proved that optical materials like zinc oxide can form nanowires that act as lasers and one dimensional junction akin to transistor junctions. The technique employed is that nanowires are floated on top of a liquid and then compressed to make the nanowires align and clump together tightly. This old technique, called Langmuir-Blodgett assembly succeeded in creating monolayers measuring 20 square centimeters in area, which can slip onto a flexible surface such as a plastic polymer. Silver nanowires of about 50 nanometers can be used to make devices where they are layered into stacks of alternating semiconductor (silicon) and conductor (silver) to produce manytypes of devices. Using monolayers of metal and monolayers of semiconductor, multilayer transfers and by stacking up these flexible devices, flexible composites can be made. The flexible nanowire layers can be transferred to any surface, including silicon, glass or flexible plastic polymers, to provide a large area to make flexible sheets of packed nanowires that would be a key component in a number of devices, such as flexible solar cells and light emitting diodes. Flexible layers of packed semiconducting nanowires made of silicon would also be useful in flexible electronic devices.

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