We have successfully dispersed silicon nanowires in liquid by a mild etching treatment. A transmission electron microscopic study reveals that the etching occurs selectively at the defect sites of the wires. This implies that the treated wires have much fewer defects than those of the raw material. We have adopted an electrophoresis method, which is usually used in biosciences, to mount single nanowires onto chosen electrodes of a prototype device. The mounting of the wires was checked using scanning probe microscopes. Compared with the commonly used microactuation method, our method is far more applicable to industrial device fabrication, which may require simultaneous manipulation of a large number of wires.

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