Synthesis of thin silicon nanowires using gold-catalyzed chemical vapor deposition
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Silicon nanowires were synthesized using chemical vapor deposition catalyzed by gold nanoparticles deposited on silicon substrates. Silicon nanowires grew epitaxially in 〈111〉 directions on (100)-oriented silicon substrates. For a particular set of process parameters, we observed a critical thickness of the nucleating gold film, below which nanowires could not be grown. We studied the dependence of the Au-Si alloy droplet size and size distribution on the starting gold film thickness and the annealing conditions. Increasing the Cl:Si ratio in the gas phase allowed nanowires to grow on smaller Au-Si alloy droplets. We used a modified heating sequence that deconvoluted the effect of silicon substrate consumption and gas-phase silicon supply on the Au-Si alloy formation and allowed growth of nanowires with diameters less than 20 nm. The modified heating sequence was also used to demonstrate the growth of bridging silicon nanowires with diameters less than 20 nm, which is a significant step in producing electronic devices.
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