Nano Research

Article Title

Nanoscience and the nano-bioelectronics frontier


one-dimensional materials, two-dimensional materials, nanowires, carbon nanotubes, bottom-up paradigm, nanoelectronics, nanoelectronic arrays, neural probes, electrophysiology, neural circuits, brain activity map, chronic recording and stimulation, brain–machine interfaces


This review describes work presented in the 2014 inaugural Tsinghua University Press–Springer Nano Research Award lecture, as well as current and future opportunities for nanoscience research at the interface with brain science. First, we briefly summarize some of the considerations and the research journey that has led to our focus on bottom-up nanoscale science and technology. Second, we recapitulate the motivation for and our seminal contributions to nanowirebased nanoscience and technology, including the rational design and synthesis of increasingly complex nanowire structures, and the corresponding broad range of “applications” enabled by the capability to control structure, composition and size from the atomic level upwards. Third, we describe in more detail nanowire-based electronic devices as revolutionary tools for brain science, including (i) motivation for nanoelectronics in brain science, (ii) demonstration of nanowire nanoelectronic arrays for high-spatial/high-temporal resolution extracellular recording, (iii) the development of fundamentally-new intracellular nanoelectronic devices that approach the sizes of single ion channels, (iv) the introduction and demonstration of a new paradigm for innervating cell networks with addressable nanoelectronic arrays in three-dimensions. Last, we conclude with a brief discussion of the exciting and potentially transformative advances expected to come from work at the nanoelectronics–brain interface.

Graphical Abstract


Tsinghua University Press