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Title: Optically oriented attachment of nanoscale metal-semiconductor heterostructures in organic solvents via photonic nanosoldering

As devices approach the single-nanoparticle scale, the rational assembly of nanomaterial heterojunctions remains a persistent challenge. While optical traps can manipulate objects in three dimensions, to date, nanoscale materials have been trapped primarily in aqueous solvents or vacuum. Here, we demonstrate the use of optical traps to manipulate, align, and assemble metal-seeded nanowire building blocks in a range of organic solvents. Anisotropic radiation pressure generates an optical torque that orients each nanowire, and subsequent trapping of aligned nanowires enables deterministic fabrication of arbitrarily long heterostructures of periodically repeating bismuth-nanocrystal/germanium-nanowire junctions. Heat transport calculations, back-focal-plane interferometry, and optical images reveal that the bismuth nanocrystal melts during trapping, facilitating tip-to-tail “nanosoldering” of the germanium nanowires. These bismuth-semiconductor interfaces may be useful for quantum computing or thermoelectric applications. In addition, the ability to trap nanostructures in oxygen- and water-free organic media broadly expands the library of materials available for optical manipulation and single-particle spectroscopy.

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Nature Communications
Nature Publishing Group
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National Science Foundation
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