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The New Way to Wire

By Terrence Woods
On September 30, 2009

There now is a new process for developing nanowires, silicon carbide (or SiC) nanowires to be exact, thanks to FSU's own Dr. Kasif Teker of the Department of Physics and Engineering, and intern Joseph Oxenham, who came up with a new synthesis technique to develop this type of nanowire over the summer at the campus's Nanotechnology Lab.Nanowires are found in many items like in nanoelectronics, field emission devices (like field emission display televisions), nanocomposites, and high temperature sensors. These nanowires are of different types and are formed through different processes. Adding to these processes is one that was developed right here at Frostburg State University.

Nanotechnology regards the development of operating systems on a molecular scale. These systems are developed entirely from scratch, "from the bottom up," as it were, via modern techniques and processes. Described as "high performance products," materials constructed of and with nanotechnologies are beneficial to many fields in the arenas of engineering and science. Nanowires, as anyone could guess, are associated with nanotechnology and are nanostructures. Having diameters equivalent to one nanometer (which equals one-billionth of a meter), these wires have "excellent" electrical mechanical properties and are able to produce blue-green lights, giving them the potential to be utilized as light-emitting products.

As stated, Dr. Teker and intern Oxenham created a new way to develop silicon carbide nanowires. When asked about the process he and Oxenham created, Teker responded, "The technique is based on the chemical vapor deposition method. I have designed a unique system for synthesizing SiC nanowires in a simple and reproducible way". The development of this process certainly was not the product of a fluke. This is understandable when Teker's 13 years of experience in the nanotechnology industry and from research labs are considered. The process came about deliberately and now contributes to the world of science.

Dr. Teker feels that while his development is extremely recent, for purposes of analysis more work should be done. Therefore, he will "continue to analyze these nanowires for their optical, electrical and mechanical properties". Teker aims to eventually use his nanowires as sensors in disease detection applications. He still is incredibly optimistic about his work. "I have been very busy establishing the Nanotechnology Lab since fall 2007 and now started to see fruits of the new lab. I see this as a seed for new and exciting projects," he said when asked how he felt about his accomplishment.

Presently, Dr. Teker is working on analyzing his nanowires with such characterization tools as the electron microscope and the atomic force microscope. He is also in the works of finding new funding so that he may begin new projects that would afford undergraduate students research opportunities.


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