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Now Available: Innovators Under 35 2013 See The 2013 List »

Ali Javey, 29

“Painting” nanowires into electronic circuits

University of California, Berkeley

Nanowires could be the basis of tomorrow's advanced electronics, from cheap solar cells to high-resolution displays. But it's been difficult to arrange the tiny strands precisely. Ali Javey, an assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science, has become a master at doing so. His latest tool for making high-quality circuits: a roller printer. He coats a glass cylinder with a catalyst and puts it in a chemical-vapor deposition chamber, where its surface sprouts nanowires. When the cylinder is pressed against a flexible piece of plastic or a silicon wafer, the tips of the nanowires cling to the flat surface; as the tube rolls, the wires are dragged and combed into straight rows before detaching from the roller. So far, Javey has used the technique to print transistors based on germanium, silicon, and indium arsenide nanowires. He has also printed arrays of light-sensing cadmium selenide nanowires, which can be used as photosensors for imaging applications. --Katherine Bourzac


Credit: Erik Pawassar

2009 TR35 Winners

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James Carey (video)

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Minimal wireless-networking protocols allow almost any device to communicate over the Internet

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Preserving information for practical quantum computing

Shahram Izadi (video)

An intuitive 3-D interface helps people manage layers of data

Ali Javey

“Painting” nanowires into electronic circuits

Anat Levin

New cameras and algorithms capture the potential of digital images

Pranav Mistry (video)

A simple, wearable device enhances the real world with digital information

Aydogan Ozcan

Inexpensive chips and sophisticated software could make microscope lenses obsolete

Vera Sazonova

World’s smallest resonator could lead to tiny mechanical devices

Elena Shevchenko

Assembling nanocrystals to create made-to-order materials

Dawn Song

Defeating malware through automated software analysis

Andrea Thomaz (video)

Robots that learn new skills the way people do

Adrien Treuille (video)

Complex physics simulations that can run on everyday PCs

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