Distinguished Lecture

Semiconductor Nanowires: A Platform for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

Charles M. LieberMark Hyman Professor of ChemistryHarvard University

Advances in nanoscience and nanotechnology depend critically on development of nanostructures whose properties are controlled during synthesis. Here we focus on this critical concept using semiconductors nanowires, which provide the capability for synthetic design to realize unprecedented structural and functional complexity in building blocks, as a platform material. First, a brief review of the synthesis of complex modulated nanowires in which rational design can be used to precisely control composition, structure and most recently structural topology will be discussed. Second, the unique functional characteristics emerging from our exquisite control of nanowire materials will be illustrated with several selected examples from nanoelectronics, quantum electronics and nano-enabled energy. Third, the remarkable power of nanowire building blocks will be further highlighted through their capability to create unprecedented active electronic interfaces with biological systems. Recent work pushing the limits of both multiplexed extracellular recording at the single cell level and the first examples of intracellular recording will described, as well as the prospects for truly blurring the distinction between nonliving and living information processing systems.
Charles M. Lieber obtained his doctoral degree from Stanford University and conducted postdoctoral research at the California Institute of Technology. In 1987 he assumed an Assistant Professor position at Columbia University. There Lieber initiated research addressing the synthesis and properties of low-dimensional materials. He moved to Harvard University in 1991 and now holds a joint appointment in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, as the Mark Hyman Professor of Chemistry, and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. At Harvard, Lieber has pioneered the synthesis of a broad range of nanoscale materials, the characterization of the unique physical properties of these materials, the development of methods of hierarchical assembly of nanoscale wires, and the demonstration of key uses of these nanomaterials in nanoelectronics and computing, creating and developing nanoelectronics-biology interfaces, nano-enabled energy, and nanophotonics. His work has been recognized by a number of awards, including the ACS Inorganic Nanoscience Award (2009), NIH Pioneer Award (2009) ACS Award in the Chemistry of Materials (2004), APS McGroddy Prize for New Materials (2003), MRS Medal (2002), and Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology (2001). Lieber is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and an elected Fellow of the Materials Research Society, American Physical Society, American Chemical Society and American Association for the Advancement of Science. Lieber is Co-Editor of Nano Letters, and serves on the Editorial and Advisory Boards of a large number of science and technology journals. Lieber has published over 320 papers, which have been cited more than 48,000 times, and is the principal inventor on more than 35 patents. In his spare time, Lieber has been active in commercializing nanotechnology, and has founded several nanotechnology companies.

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