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Silicon Nanowires: Growth Studies Using Pulsed PECVD

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 February 2011

David Parlevliet
Affiliation:
D.Parlevliet@murdoch.edu.au, Murdoch University, Physics, South Street, Murdoch, WA 6150, Australia
John C.L. Cornish
Affiliation:
J.Cornish@murdoch.com.au, Murdoch University, Physics, South Street, Murdoch, 6150, Australia, 61893606505, 61803606183
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Abstract

Silicon nanowires with high aspect ratios have been grown at high density using a variation of Plasma Enhanced Chemical Deposition (PECVD) known as Pulsed PECVD (PPECVD). Growth rate and morphology were investigated for a range of catalysts: gold, silver, aluminum, copper, indium and tin. The thickness of the catalyst layer was 100nm. Deposition was carried out in a parallel plate PECVD chamber at substrate temperatures up to 350°C, from undiluted semiconductor grade Silane. A 1 kHz square wave was used to modulate the 13.56 MHz RF power. Samples were analyzed using either a Phillips XL20 SEM or a ZEISS 1555 VP FESEM. The average diameter for nanowires grown using a gold catalyst layer was 150nm and the average length was 4μm although some nanowires were observed with lengths up to 20μm. Back-scattered-electron images clearly show gold present at the tips of the silicon nanowires grown using gold as a catalyst, confirming their growth by the vapor liquid solid (VLS) mechanism. Sporadic growth of nanowires was detected when using copper as a catalyst. Although gold performed best as catalyst for nanowire growth it was, however, closely followed by tin. The other catalysts produced nanowires with properties between these extremes.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2007

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