Silicon Nanowires for Biosensing, Energy Storage, and Conversion



Semiconducting silicon nanowires (SiNWs) represent one of the most interesting research directions in nanoscience and nanotechnology, with capabilities of realizing structural and functional complexity through rational design and synthesis. The exquisite control of chemical composition, structure, morphology, doping, and assembly of SiNWs, in both individual and array format, as well as incorporation with other materials, offers a nanoscale building block with unique electronic, optoelectronic, and catalytic properties, thus allowing for a variety of exciting opportunities in the fields of life sciences and renewable energy. This review provides a brief summary of SiNW research in the past decade, from the SiNW synthesis by both the top-down approaches and the bottom-up approaches, to several important biological and energy applications including biomolecule sensing, interfacing with cells and tissues, lithium-ion batteries, solar cells, and photoelectrochemical conversion.