There are numerous potential applications in highly miniaturized sensors and electronic devices.
It is now possible to grow silicon nanowires at chosen positions and orientations by a method that involves a combination of standard microfabrication processes. Because their positions and orientations can be chosen with unprecedented precision, the nanowires can be utilized as integral parts of individually electronically addressable devices in dense arrays.
Nanowires made from silicon and perhaps other semiconductors hold substantial promise for integration into highly miniaturized sensors, field-effect transistors, optoelectronic devices, and other electronic devices. Like bulk semiconductors, inorganic semiconducting nanowires are characterized by electronic energy bandgaps that render them suitable as means of modulating or controlling electronic signals through electrostatic gating, in response to incident light, or in response to molecules of interest close to their surfaces. There is now potential for fabricating arrays of uniform, individually electronically addressable nanowires tailored to specific applications.