, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 286-290,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Platinum Assisted Vapor–Liquid–Solid Growth of Er–Si Nanowires and Their Optical Properties


We report the optical activation of erbium coated silicon nanowires (Er–SiNWs) grown with the assist of platinum (Pt) and gold (Au), respectively. The NWs were grown on Si substrates by using a chemical vapor transport process using SiCl4 and ErCl4 as precursors. Pt as well as Au worked successfully as vapor–liquid–solid (VLS) catalysts for growing SiNWs with diameters of ~100 nm and length of several micrometers, respectively. The SiNWs have core–shell structures where the Er-crystalline layer is sandwiched between silica layers. Photoluminescence spectra analyses showed the optical activity of SiNWs from both Pt and Au. A stronger Er3+ luminescence of 1,534 nm was observed from the SiNWs with Pt at room- and low-temperature (25 K) using the 488- and/or 477-nm line of an Ar laser that may be due to the uniform incorporation of more Er ions into NWs with the exclusion of the formation of catalyst-induced deep levels in the band-gap. Pt would be used as a VLS catalyst for high performance optically active Er–SiNWs.