Abstract: Semiconducting nanowires have recently attracted considerable attention. With their unique electrical and optical properties, they offer interesting perspectives for basic research as well as for technology. A variety of technical applications, such as nanowires as parts of sensors, and electronic and photonic devices have already been demonstrated. In particular, electronic applications come more and more into focus, as the ongoing miniaturization in microelectronics demands new innovative solutions. Semiconducting nanowires, in particular epitaxially grown silicon (Si) nanowires, are considered as promising candidates for post-CMOS (CMOS: complementary metal–oxide semiconductor) logic elements owing to their potential compatibility with existing CMOS technology. One major advantage of vapor–liquid– solid(VLS-) grown nanowires compared to top-down fabricated devices is that they have well-defined surfaces. This reduces surface scattering, an issue which becomes important for devices on the nanoscale. Moreover, epitaxially grown nanowires circumvent the problem of handling and positioning nanometer-sized objects that arises in the conventional pick-and-place approach, where devices are fabricated by manipulating horizontally lying VLS-grown nanowires. The first step towards a technical realization of a nanowire logic element is the design and manufacturing of a nanowire transistor. The epitaxial growth of vertical nanowires offers advantages over other approaches: For example, the transistor gate can be wrapped around the vertically oriented nanowire. Such a wrapped-around gate allows better electrostatic gate control of the conducting channel and offers the potential to drive more current per device area than is possible in a conventional planar architecture. In this Communication, a generic process for fabricating a vertical surround-gate field-effect transistor (VS-FET) based on epitaxially grown nanowires is described. Exemplarily, we used Si nanowires and present a first electrical characterization proving the feasibility of the process developed and the basic functionality of this device. Figure 1a shows a schematic cross section through a conventional p-type MOSFET. In such a device, an inversion channel can be created close to the gate by applying a negative gate voltage. This forms a conducting channel that connects the p-doped regions between the source and drain contacts electrically. Using this concept, a silicon nanowire VS-FET would ideally require a nanowire that is n-doped in the region of the gate and p-doped elsewhere. Unfortunately, such a p-n-p structure with abrupt transitions appears difficult to realize if the nanowires are grown by means of the vapor–liquid–solid mechanism using gold as a catalyst. The difficulty here is that the dopant atoms, which are dissolved in the catalyst droplet, might act as a reservoir, thus creating a graded transition when switching to another dopant. Therefore, we used a structure consisting of an n-doped silicon nanowire grown on a p-type substrate (see Figure 1b). If the gate–drain and gate–source distances are not too long, it is electrostatically still possible to create an inversion channel along the length of the entire wire. In the proposed configuration, the p–n junction at the source contact (Figure 1a) is replaced by a Au/n-Si Schottky contact at the nanowire tip. In order to investigate the influence of the Au/n-Si Schottky contact on the nanowire (current–voltage) I–V characteristics, an array of n-doped nanowires vertically grown on an n-type (111)-oriented substrate was imbedded in a spin-coated SiO2 matrix. After removing the thin SiO2 coverage from the Au tips by a short reactive ion etching, contacts 0.6 mm in size were defined by evaporating aluminum onto the sample, such that approximately 10 nanowires were contacted in parallel. The temperature-dependent measurements (shown in Figure 2) were performed by applying a voltage to the Si substrate, while the Al top contact was held at a constant potential. The measurements reveal a strong rectifying behavior with a thermally activated current possessing an activation energy of 0.6 eV. This can be explained by the Au/n-Si Schottky contact dominating the I–V behavior. The fact that the Schottky contact is forward-biased for negative voltages furthermore proves that, as expected, electrons act as majority charge carries. Figure 1. Schematics of a) a conventional p-channel MOSFET and b) a silicon nanowire vertical surround-gate field-effect transistor.