, Volume 100, Issue 1, pp 287-296
Date: 11 Jun 2010

Growth study of indium-catalyzed silicon nanowires by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition

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Indium was used as a catalyst for the synthesis of silicon nanowires in a plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition reactor. In order to foster the catalytic activity of indium, the indium droplets had to be exposed to a hydrogen plasma prior to nanowire growth in a silane plasma. The structure of the nanowires was investigated as a function of the growth conditions by electron microscopy and Raman spectroscopy. The nanowires were found to crystallize along the <111>, <112> or <001> growth direction. When growing on the <112> and <111> directions, they revealed a similar crystal quality and the presence of a high density of twins along the {111} planes. The high density and periodicity of these twins lead to the formation of hexagonal domains inside the cubic structure. The corresponding Raman signature was found to be a peak at 495 cm−1, in agreement with previous studies. Finally, electron energy loss spectroscopy indicates an occasional migration of indium during growth.