Silicon Nanowire Growth at Chosen Positions and Orientations
- Getty, Stephanie A.
- July 2009.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Restrictions on Access:
- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available.
- It is now possible to grow silicon nanowires at chosen positions and orientations by a method that involves a combination of standard microfabrication processes. Because their positions and orientations can be chosen with unprecedented precision, the nanowires can be utilized as integral parts of individually electronically addressable devices in dense arrays. Nanowires made from silicon and perhaps other semiconductors hold substantial promise for integration into highly miniaturized sensors, field-effect transistors, optoelectronic devices, and other electronic devices. Like bulk semiconductors, inorganic semiconducting nanowires are characterized by electronic energy bandgaps that render them suitable as means of modulating or controlling electronic signals through electrostatic gating, in response to incident light, or in response to molecules of interest close to their surfaces. There is now potential for fabricating arrays of uniform, individually electronically addressable nanowires tailored to specific applications. The method involves formation of metal catalytic particles at the desired positions on a substrate, followed by heating the substrate in the presence of silane gas. The figure illustrates an example in which a substrate includes a silicon dioxide surface layer that has been etched into an array of pillars and the catalytic (in this case, gold) particles have been placed on the right-facing sides of the pillars. The catalytic thermal decomposition of the silane to silicon and hydrogen causes silicon columns (the desired nanowires) to grow outward from the originally catalyzed spots on the substrate, carrying the catalytic particles at their tips. Thus, the position and orientation of each silicon nanowire is determined by the position of its originally catalyzed spot on the substrate surface, and the orientation of the nanowire is perpendicular to the substrate surface at the originally catalyzed spot.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20090027762.
NASA Tech Briefs, July 2009; 25-26.
- Copyright, Distribution as joint owner in the copyright.
View MARC record | catkey: 16614116