Crystalline semiconductor nanoparticles are of interest for a variety of electronic and opto-electronic applications. We report experimental studies of the synthesis and characterization of crystalline silicon nanoparticles using a constricted-mode capacitive RF plasma in continua- tion of results reported earlier from an RF inductively coupled plasma . The constricted-mode discharge is based on a thermal plasma instability yielding a high-density plasma filament, which rotates at a high frequency. Silane is dissociated, leading to particle nucleation and growth. Particles are extracted by passing the particle-laden gas through an orifice to form a beam and col- lected by inertial impaction.
We are able to reproducibly synthesize highly oriented freestanding single-crystal silicon nanoparticles. Monodisperse particle size distributions centered at a 35nm particle diameter with a geometric standard deviation of 1.3 are obtained. Transmission electron microscope (TEM) studies show uniformly shaped cubic particles. Selected-area electron diffraction patterns indi- cate the particles have the diamond-cubic silicon structure. To study the electrical properties of these particles, metal-semiconductor-metal structures were fabricated and analyzed.