Porous silicon (p-Si), prepared by two routes (metal induced etching (MIE) and laser induced etching (LIE)) have been studied by comparing the observed surface morphologies using SEM. A uniformly distributed smaller (submicron sized) pores are formed when MIE technique is used because the pore formation is driven by uniformly distributed metal (silver in present case) nanoparticles, deposited prior to the porosification step. Whereas in p-Si, prepared by LIE technique, wider pores with some variation in pore size as compared to MIE technique is observed because a laser having gaussian profile of intensity is used for porosification. Uniformly distribute well-aligned Si nanowires are observed in samples prepared by MIE method as seen using cross-sectional SEM imaging. A single photoluminescence (PL) peak at 1.96 eV corresponding to red emission at room temperature is observed which reveals that the Si nanowires, present in p-Si prepared by MIE, show quantum confinement effect. The single PL peak confirms the presence of uniform sized nanowires in MIE samples. These vertically aligned Si nanowires can be used for field emission application.
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