Bulk synthesis of silicon nanowires using a low-temperature vapor–liquid–solid method

Sunkara, M. K.; Sharma, S.; Miranda, R.; Lian, G.; Dickey, E. C.
September 2001
Applied Physics Letters;9/3/2001, Vol. 79 Issue 10
Academic Journal
Silicon nanowires will find applications in nanoscale electronics and optoelectronics both as active and passive components. Here, we demonstrate a low-temperature vapor–liquid–solid synthesis method that uses liquid-metal solvents with low solubility for silicon and other elemental semiconductor materials. This method eliminates the usual requirement of quantum-sized droplets in order to obtain quantum-scale one-dimensional structures. Specifically, we synthesized silicon nanowires with uniform diameters distributed around 6 nm using gallium as the molten solvent, at temperatures less than 400 °C in hydrogen plasma. The potential exists for bulk synthesis of silicon nanowires at temperatures significantly lower than 400 °C. Gallium forms a eutectic with silicon near room temperature and offers a wide temperature range for bulk synthesis of nanowires. These properties are important for creating monodispersed one-dimensional structures capable of yielding sharp hetero- or homointerfaces. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.


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