A review is given of recent work in use of functionalized ZnO, GaN, and InN nanowires (NWs) as hydrogen gas and biological sensors, and the use of ZnO NWs with polymers in hybrid LEDs. For the biological sensors, specific examples of the detection of lactic acid and glucose by ZnO NWs are detailed. We also discuss self-consistent solutions of a coupled quantum-drift diffusion equation with a 3-D Poisson equation for simulations of the effects of sensing molecules on the surface of the ZnO NWs on the resulting conductance of the wires. The change in conductance is found to be a strong function of the channel length and diameter of the NWs and the simulations can be used as a method to optimize the sensor performance.
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