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The history of semiconductor wire or whisker growth dates back to the 1960s. The term nanowire, however, was first introduced in the late 1990s when semiconductor wires with diameters down to the 10 nm scale were successfully synthesized on a large scale. Interest in this fascinating material has truly taken off ever since then. The science and technology of semiconductor nanowires have been at the forefront of nanomaterial and nanodevice research and have been advancing at an amazing pace. During the past decade, we have witnessed an explosion of nanowire research in areas from the development of new material synthesis techniques, understanding of growth mechanism, engineering of heterostructure nanowire design to the exploration of fundamentally new electrical, optical and mechanical properties offered by these substantially defect-free, one-dimensional nanostructures. More importantly, exciting applications of nanowires in the field of electronics, optoelectronics, energy generation and storage have now emerged and are poised to enter the commercial market and change people's everyday lives in the near future. The goal of this book is to present a summary of these latest developments in this important field as well as an outlook as to what might be in store in the next decade based on these exciting developments.

This book contains nine chapters, covering topics from nanowire growth and integration, to high performance electronic devices (transistors and memory), biosensors, optoelectronic devices and energy devices such as photovoltaics, mechanical nanogenerators, thermoelectric harvesters and lithium-ion batteries. The book can serve as a reference book for experts and graduate student researchers aspiring to work in related fields, as well as industry watchers interested in learning how nanotechnology is transforming electronics and energy devices. It may also serve as a textbook for senior undergraduate and graduate students in materials science and engineering, chemistry or electrical engineering, taught chapter by chapter; or as an introduction or reference book to a class on electronic materials, by selecting an according subset of the chapters as the chapters are relatively self-contained.

The chapters are written by experts in the field of nanotechnology and, in particular, recognized leaders in semiconductor nanowire research. We would particularly like to thank Professors Charles Lieber, Peidong Yang and Zhong Lin Wang, who are pioneers of this field, for their valuable contributions despite their busy schedules, and also thank Professors Yi Cui, Song Jin, Ritesh Agarwal, Bozhi Tian and Renkun Chen, who have become major players in nanowire research, for their contributions. We wish also to thank L. Chen and Dr Y. Yang for their help in editing the book.

Wei Lu

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Jie Xiang

Electrical and Computer Engineering

University of California – San Diego

La Jolla, CA 92093

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