Journal of Phase Equilibria and Diffusion

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 150–157 | Cite as

Thermodynamics of the Au-Si-O System: Application to the Synthesis and Growth of Silicon-Silicon dioxide Nanowires

  • Djamila Bahloul-HourlierEmail author
  • Pierre Perrot
Basic and Applied Research


The Solid-Vapor-Liquid-Solid (SVLS) process is a fundamental mechanism for the growth of nanowires. In this article, experimental observations and assessment of thermodynamic data have been used to explain the Solid-Vapor-Liquid-Solid (SVLS) mechanism for the growth of silicon-based nanowires. The binary phase diagram of nanoparticle (Au-Si) systems has been evaluated from information on Gibbs energy of the bulk and surface tension of the liquid phase. At 1100 °C, temperature commonly used for the growth of nanowires by the SVLS mechanism, it has been shown that the nanometric decreases the melting point of pure Au and Si and more generally the liquidus temperatures. Moreover, the liquid phase region in the binary Au-Si phase diagram is enlarged as the particle size becomes smaller. The presence of SiO in the gaseous phase is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the formation of nanowires. The nanowires’growth cannot be explained by the modification of the Au-Si phase diagram with the size of the particles, neither by the presence of SiO, but by the existence of a metastable equilibrium involving the silicon of the wafer, the deposit of vitreous silica and supersaturated SiO in the gaseous phase.


binary system Au-Si nanodiagrams nanowhiskers S(V)LS mechanism thermodynamics 


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Copyright information

© ASM International 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut d’Electronique, de Microélectronique et de NanotechnologiesUMR-CNRS 8520Villeneuve d’AscqFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Métallurgie Physique et Génie des MatériauxUMR-CNRS 8517, Université des Sciences et Technologies de LilleVilleneuve d’AscqFrance

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