Inventive materials: nanowires

Nanowires are just one of many new technologies that could revolutionise electronic devices

Nanowires are extremely narrow threads (less than 50 nm wide), which have the potential to be used in nanoscale electrical devices. The vision is of electronic chips so small and cheap they could be used in almost any way.

In biology, they could form the heart of extremely sensitive biosensors, identifying molecules associated with disease or the binding of chemicals to a drug target.

Lead image:

Sandia Labs/Flickr CC BY NC ND

About this resource

This resource was first published in ‘Nanoscience’ in June 2005 and reviewed and updated in August 2014.

Health, infection and disease, Biotechnology and engineering
Education levels:
16–19, Continuing professional development