Surface modification influenced properties of silicon nanowires grown by Ag assisted chemical etching with ECR hydrogen plasma treatment
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Silicon nanowires (SiNWs) are fabricated by Ag assisted chemical etching and are treated with hydrogen plasma created by electron cyclotron resonance (ECR) plasma system at 600 watts microwave power for various time durations (0–30 min). The hydrogen plasma exposure on the surface of the SiNWs reduced the surface roughness and increased the crystalline nature. SEM analysis revealed that the diameter of the SiNWs decreased on plasma exposure. The electrical conduction measurements suggested that the hydrogen plasma exposure for 5 min on the SiNW surface enhanced the electrical conductivity when compared to as fabricated SiNW surface. The hydrophobic nature of fabricated SiNWs was transformed to hydrophilic at plasma exposure for lower time duration. On plasma exposure of NWs for 30 min the sample turned hydrophobic. Study of different properties of the SiNWs before and after plasma treatment revealed that there is pronounced effect of plasma on the nature of SiNWs.
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