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Open Access Nano Express

Low Temperature Growth of In2O3and InN Nanocrystals on Si(111) via Chemical Vapour Deposition Based on the Sublimation of NH4Cl in In

Matthew Zervos1*, Demetra Tsokkou2, Maria Pervolaraki1 and Andreas Othonos2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Materials Science Group, Nanostructured Materials and Devices Laboratory, University of Cyprus, P.O. Box 20537, 1678, Nicosia, Cyprus

2 Department of Physics, Research Centre of Ultrafast Science, University of Cyprus, P.O. Box 20537, 1678, Nicosia, Cyprus

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2009, 4:491-497  doi:10.1007/s11671-009-9266-1

Published: 21 February 2009

Abstract

Indium oxide (In2O3) nanocrystals (NCs) have been obtained via atmospheric pressure, chemical vapour deposition (APCVD) on Si(111) via the direct oxidation of In with Ar:10% O2at 1000 °C but also at temperatures as low as 500 °C by the sublimation of ammonium chloride (NH4Cl) which is incorporated into the In under a gas flow of nitrogen (N2). Similarly InN NCs have also been obtained using sublimation of NH4Cl in a gas flow of NH3. During oxidation of In under a flow of O2the transfer of In into the gas stream is inhibited by the formation of In2O3around the In powder which breaks up only at high temperatures, i.e.T > 900 °C, thereby releasing In into the gas stream which can then react with O2leading to a high yield formation of isolated 500 nm In2O3octahedrons but also chains of these nanostructures. No such NCs were obtained by direct oxidation forTG < 900 °C. The incorporation of NH4Cl in the In leads to the sublimation of NH4Cl into NH3and HCl at around 338 °C which in turn produces an efficient dispersion and transfer of the whole In into the gas stream of N2where it reacts with HCl forming primarily InCl. The latter adsorbs onto the Si(111) where it reacts with H2O and O2leading to the formation of In2O3nanopyramids on Si(111). The rest of the InCl is carried downstream, where it solidifies at lower temperatures, and rapidly breaks down into metallic In upon exposure to H2O in the air. Upon carrying out the reaction of In with NH4Cl at 600 °C under NH3as opposed to N2, we obtain InN nanoparticles on Si(111) with an average diameter of 300 nm.

Keywords:
Indium oxide; Indium nitride; Nanocrystals; Low temperature; Chemical vapour deposition