Electronic and optoelectronic devices impact many areas of society, from simple household appliances and multimedia systems to communications, computing, and medical instruments. Given the demand for ever more compact and powerful systems, there is growing interest in the development of nanoscale devices that could enable new functions and/or greatly enhanced performance. Semiconductor nanowires are emerging as a powerful class of materials that, through controlled growth and organization, are opening up substantial opportunities for novel nanoscale photonic and electronic devices. We review the broad array of nanowire building blocks available to researchers and discuss a range of electronic and optoelectronic nanodevices, as well as integrated device arrays, that could enable diverse and exciting applications in the future.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(06)71650-9