(December 8, 2015) Researchers at the University of Twente research instituteMESA+ have devised an elegant method for fitting various functional coatings to silicon microwires. The method makes it possible to create relatively easily a wire that is coated on its lower side with platinum, for example, and with silver on top. The wires can be used potentially for generating renewable energy or for purifying water. The research has been published today in the prestigious scientific journal Advanced Materials.
Microwires made of the semi-conductor silicon are used in numerous fields. It is generally necessary to ‘functionalize’ them, by adding a layer of metal or a layer of a catalyst. In most cases, the wires are given a single layer, but in specific instances it is useful to put a different material on the bottom and on the top of the wires. However, creating these wires proved very difficult and the process of making them involved many steps. Researchers from the University of Twente have now developed a new method that makes creating wires of this kind easy. According to University of Twente Professor Jurriaan Huskens, this has provided chemists with a versatile method for creating new materials.