US researchers discover nanowires that can serve as an alternative to lasers

A team of researchers in US have discovered a new way to produce wires as tiny as 200 nanometers (a billionth of a metre), which purportedly can perform the same tasks as a laser. According to to Xinhua, the project was lead by Peidong Yang, a chemist at the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and University of California, Berkeley.

Researchers claim that they discovered a simple chemical-dipping solution process on with cesium, lead and bromine to create the wires which have the chemical formula of CsPbBr3. ”What’s amazing is the simplicity of the chemistry here,” said Yang.
“There has been so much progress with these materials in just the past several years. I have a feeling these materials will open a new research frontier for optoelectronics as well,” added Yang.

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Yang’s team of researchers pioneered nanowire development around 15 years ago but back then they used a different combination of materials which included zinc oxide (ZnO) and gallium nitride (GaN.) Later discovering a much simpler processes of dipping a lead based film into a mixture of cesium, chlorine and bromine methanol solution, heated to around 50 degrees Celsius (about 122 degrees Fahrenheit) to create a nanowire with a diameter of 200 to 2,300 nanometres at lengths ranging from 2 to 40 microns.

While placed on a quartz base, lasers from another source caused the nanowires to emit light for over one billion cycles.

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Yang said, ”The whole purpose of developing nano-sized lasers is to interface photonic (light-based) devices with electronic devices seamlessly,” he said, “at scales relevant to today’s computer chips. Today, these photonic devices can be bulky”.