PEIDONG YANG / UC BERKELEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PEIDONG YANG / UC BERKELEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Gallium nitride nanowires, coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM). Nanowires, seen here grown in square plots, are artificially grown crystal filaments that measure only a few nanometres (billionths of a metre) in diameter, and several microns (thousandths of metres) in length. These nanowires are composed of gallium nitride (GaN), a semiconductor material with applications in optoelectronics. GaN nanowires could one day be used to produce miniature circuits, amplifiers, blue LEDs, ultraviolet lasers and detectors. These nanowires were created by chemist Peidong Yang and his team at the University of California, Berkeley, USA. Photographed in 2008.
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