Growth Time-Dependent Density and Surface Evolution of Silicon Nanowires in a Vapor–Liquid–Solid Process

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Single crystalline silicon nanowires (SiNWs) were grown on Si(100) substrate using a gold (Au)-catalyzed vapor–liquid–solid (VLS) approach. The dependence of the growth time (i.e., the time of exposure to the Si source) on the density and surface evolution of the grown SiNWs is considered. It was observed that the density of grown SiNWs on Si substrate increased with increasing growth time. The highest density (∼1.1 × 106 mm−2) was reached at 4 hr. Upon further exposure to the Si source, we observed that the density was maintained for up to 9 hr. We suggest that the increased Si chemical potential in Au–Si droplets with increased growth time enhanced the SiNW growth rate at the interfaces between Au–Si droplets and SiNWs, and enhanced the transition of the NWs from the existing Au–Si droplets onto Si substrate. This allows the SiNW density to increase with increased growth time of up to 4 hr. Moreover, we examined the influence of the growth time on surface evolution including Au diffusion, facet and taper formation, and vapor–solid (VS) growth of the SiNWs. To explain the behavior of the grown SiNWs in the VLS process, we propose a combined model using the VLS and VS growth mechanisms.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: August 1, 2011

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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