A nanowire is a material object often created in a lab that is extremely thin but long compared to its diameter or cross sectional size. The cross-sectional size is often in the nanometer (10-9 meters) range and hence the name nanowire. Until recent times intentionally creating and studying structures of this size have not been possible. A primary reason for studying this structure is its unique properties stemming from the very size of this cross-section. When atoms that constitute an object is so small, new quantum effects come into play. Novel devices exploiting these new quantum effects are being made. Nanowires have been made in a variety of materials such as metals (e.g. Gold, Platinum, Nickel), semiconductors (e.g. Silicon (Si), Gallium Nitride (GaN)) and even insulators like Silicon Dioxide (SiO2) and Titanium Dioxide (TiO2). Even the DNA strings are forms of nanowires. Nanowires have demonstrated to have many benefcial properties, for example nanowire lasers show smaller threshold current, nanowire light detectors have greater sensitivity etc.

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