Keywords: nanosensors, nanomaterials, nanowires, nanotubes, nanoparticles, carbon nanotubes, oxide nanowires, surface science, nanotechnology, nanoscale sensors, sensor devices, circuit integration
The all pervading nanosensors
Nanosensors are central to many exciting developments in nanotechnology research. Following more than a decade of research, the applications of nanoscale sensors are progressively becoming a technological issue more than a field of fundamental research. With a sharp rise of attention in the past 15 years on self-organised zero or one dimensional nanostructures based on synthetic 'bottom-up' techniques, researchers have proposed and demonstrated innovative nanosensors that could not have been realised through the transformative 'top-down' techniques. Several recently reported massively parallel 'bottom-up' techniques offer the potential for high-density integration of nanosensors beyond the capability of conventional technologies with a small fraction of the present-day fabrication cost. A tremendous synergy can be attained by integrating nanosensors based on plasmonics, electronics, photonics and conventional sensors on the same chip and exploiting the advantages of each technology. This special issue offers a timely overview of the nanosensor field and covers the latest developments on various self-organised nano-structures, special structural characterisation, physical properties, current trends and future directions in nanoscale sensors, their devices and circuit integration.