Electrical properties of materials and devices based on networks of 1D nanostructures
Authors: Ponzoni A.
Autors Affiliation: National Institute of Optics of the National Research Council (CNR-INO), Unit of Brescia, Brescia, Italy
Abstract: This work reviews the electrical transport in random networks of 1D nanostructures, such as inorganic nanowires and carbon nanotubes, emphasizing their implications in solid state devices. The goal is providing an overview of the importance of these materials in the future technology and the challenges that the scientific community is facing to progress our understanding of these phenomena and our capability to exploit them in functional devices. Concerning potentialities, these materials offer the opportunity to finely control the properties of elementary nanostructures and realize macroscopic layers by means of cheap fabrication methods. Indeed, several papers reported their suitability for the development of a broad range of devices, including solar cells, transparent electrodes, gas- and bio-sensors. As for challenges, these relies in the complex interplay between the distribution of microscopic elements in the network, their individual properties and the way in which they control the macroscopic functionalities of the network. Besides the promising results achieved so far, the understanding of these phenomena is still partial, hindering our capability to take full advantage of the underlying potentialities. These potentialities and challenges are here overviewed and discussed with particular reference to conductometric gas-sensors.
KeyWords: Networked materials; Nanowires; carbon nanotubes; electrical transport; gas-sensors