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Nanowires for Spintronics and Optoelectronics Applications

Link to faculty eProfessional résumé

Prof. Howard E. Jackson

Professor Physics
McMicken College of Arts and Sciences
+1 (513) 556-0522

Project Summary
The recent emergence of semiconductor nanowires as an exciting new class of materials
has significant potential to reveal new fundamental physics and to propel new applications. In
this international interdisciplinary proposal, we bring together state-of-the-art semiconductor
nanowire growth, high-resolution optical and electronic imaging spectroscopies, and theoretical
modeling to advance the understanding of the unique electron and spin landscapes of high quality
nanowire heterostructures.
Intellectual Merit:
We are poised to make significant progress in growing high quality semiconductor
nanowire heterostructures and developing a fundamental understanding of their electronic and
spin structure and their interactions. In this synergistic research, we will address three important
• How do electronic spin interactions change when going from quasi-3D nanowire
heterostructures to fully 1D quantum wires?
• How are the electronic states and spin interactions changed in nanowire
heterostructures with more novel and complex geometries?— Examples include coremultishell
nanowire radial heterostructures (quantum tubes) and axial nanowire
heterostructures including embedded quantum dots.
• How does the application of electric, magnetic and photonic fields on the nanoscale
influence the electronic and spin interactions within these semiconductor nanowire
heterostructures?— Nanowire heterostructures provide a uniuqe opportunity for
studying the effects of external fields, since the excitons in these materials are within
several nanometers of the nanowire surface.
Our overall goal is to understand how nanowire heterostructures affect the physics of spin
interactions. We hope to harness the significant flexibility of nanowire growth to design and
construct new structures with properties and functionalities never seen before. This research will
benefit from strongly synergistic interactions – involving synthesis and fabrication, structural
characterization, optical spectroscopies, and theoretical modeling - among researchers with
differing but complementary expertise at the Australian National University and University of
Queensland in Australia, and the University of Cincinnati, Miami University and Ohio University
in the United States.
Broader Educational and Societal Impacts:
Development of new physics understanding and new devices will have a strong societal
benefit, making possible new sensors with applications for the rapid and sensitive detection of
pathogens and for use in improving the health and safety of our air, water and food supplies.
Secondly, this proposed research project will have a strong impact on the development of our
nation’s future scientists. This research will directly involve the interaction and training of
graduate students, postdoctoral fellows as well as undergraduate students in multinational
interdisciplinary research. This will provide future workers in a growing and critical segment of
the nation’s workforce. All participants in this research will be involved in an annual
"International Saturday Nano Science and Engineering Day" for area middle school students
where potential young scientists and engineers can explore new and exciting topics.
Structured month-long international exchanges will allow our students as well as the co-
PIs to participate internationally in both a different scientific culture and a different country’s
culture. The exposure of graduate student researchers, undergraduate students and postdoctoral
fellows to an international interdisciplinary scientific environment will broaden their
understanding of the science involved and inform a more sophisticated perspective on the nature
of international collaboration, a signature of successful 21st century research in nanoscience.

Project commenced on January 1, 2006

Target Countries

Collaborative Institutions