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Modified Nanoscale Light Sensor to Produce Hybrid Devices

University of Pittsburgh scientists have developed a light sensor in nanoscale size, which can be coupled with an electronic circuitry of near-atomic-size for the generation of hybrid electronic and optic systems with improved performances.

The research team guided by Jeremy Levy at the Pitt's School of Arts and Sciences structured a photonic system, which is as low as 4 nm in width, and having the capability of on-demand photonic collisions with the elements that are smaller than unique molecules or quantum dots, according to Nature report.

In an another attempt, this miniature device can be electrically modified to diversify its sensitivity to form various visible spectrum colours, thereby eliminating the requirement of independent  light filters that are needed in other type of sensors.

The scientists were able to create these photonic systems using a re-writable nanoelectronics stage that resembles a microscopic ‘Etch A Sketch’ toy drawing. This methodology drifts an oxide crystal between conducting and insulating states and is initially reported in 2008.

By exerting a positive electronic charge to the fine conducting probe in an atomic force microscope, conducting wires can be produced having only a few nm in width at the joining of two insulators with a 1.2 nm lanthanum aluminate layer developed on a substrate coated with strontium titanate.

These conducting nanowires can be wiped out with reverse voltage, by coating the insulator on the interface again. The researchers could illustrate a powerful technique for integrating the light sensitivity into these electronic circuits by employing these identical methodologies and materials.

Source: http://www.pitt.edu

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