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A functionalization method for the specific and selective immobilization of the streptavidin (SA) protein on semiconductor nanowires (NWs) was developed. Silicon (Si) and silicon carbide (SiC) NWs were functionalized with 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES) and subsequently biotinylated for the conjugation of SA. Existence of a thin native oxide shell on both Si and SiC NWs enabled efficient binding of APTES with the successive attachment of biotin and SA as was confirmed with x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, and atomic force microscopy. Fluorescence microscopy demonstrated nonspecific, electrostatic binding of the SA and the bovine serum albumin (BSA) proteins to APTES-coated NWs. Inhibition of nonspecific BSA binding and enhancement of selective SA binding were achieved on biotinylated NWs. The biofunctionalized NWs have the potential to be used as biosensing platforms for the specific and selective detection of proteins.
A method of growing SiC nanowires (NWs) on 4H–SiC surfaces by in situ vapor-phase catalyst delivery was developed as an alternative to the ex situ deposition of the metal catalyst on the targeted surfaces before the NW chemical vapor deposition (CVD) growth. In the proposed method, sublimation of the catalyst from a metal source placed in the hot zone of the CVD reactor, followed by condensation of the catalyst-rich vapor on bare substrate surface was used to form the catalyst nanoparticles required for the vapor–liquid–solid (VLS) growth of SiC NWs. The NW density was found to gradually decrease downstream from the catalyst source and was influenced by both the gas flow rate and by the catalyst diffusion through the boundary layer above the catalyst source. Formation of poly-Si islands at too low value of the C/Si ratio created preferential nucleation centers for misaligned SiC NWs and NW bushes. The flexibility of controlling the nanoparticle density made this technique suitable for NW growth on horizontal surfaces as well as on patterned SiC substrates, including the vertical sidewalls of SiC mesas.
In this work, the ultimate bending strengths of as-grown Si and fully oxidized Si nanowires (NWs) were investigated by using a new atomic force microscopy (AFM) bending method. NWs dispersed on Si substrates were bent into hook and loop configurations by AFM manipulation. The adhesion between NWs and the substrate provided sufficient restraint to retain NWs in imposed bent states and allowed subsequent AFM imaging. The stress and friction force distributions along the bent NWs were calculated based on the in-plane configurations of the NWs in the AFM images. As revealed from the last-achieved bending state, before fracture, fracture strengths close to the ideal strength of materials were attained in these measurements: 17.3 GPa for Si NWs and 6.2 GPa for fully oxidized Si NWs.
Waveguide prism-coupling methods were used to measure the ordinary and extraordinary refractive indices of AlxGa1-xN films grown on sapphire substrates by HVPE and MOCVD. Several discrete wavelengths ranging from 442 nm to 1064 nm were used and the results were fit to one-term Sellmeier equations. The maximum standard uncertainty in the refractive index measurements was ± 0.005 and the maximum standard uncertainty in the self-consistent calculation for film thickness was ± 15 nm. Analysis of normal-incidence spectroscopic transmittance and reflectance measurements, correlated with the prism-coupling results, was used to determine the ordinary refractive index as a continuous function of wavelength from the band gap wavelength of each sample (between 252 nm and 364 nm) to 2500 nm. The Al compositions of the samples were determined using energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy analysis (EDS). HVPE grown samples had compositions x = 0.279, 0.363, 0.593, and 0.657. MOCVD samples had x = 0.00, 0.419, 0.507, 0.618, 0.660, and 0.666. The maximum standard uncertainty in the absolute EDS-determined value for x was ± 0.02.
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