The development of integrated electronic circuitry ranks among the most disruptive and transformative technologies of the 20th century. Even though integrated circuits are ubiquitous in modern life, both fundamental and technical constraints will eventually test the limits of Moore's law. Nanowire photonic circuitry constructed from myriad one-dimensional building blocks offers numerous opportunities for the development of next-generation optical information processors and spectroscopy. However, several challenges remain before the potential of nanowire building blocks is fully realized. We cover recent advances in nanowire synthesis, characterization, lasing, integration, and the eventual application to relevant technical and scientific questions.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(06)71652-2