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Conductive-probe atomic force microscopy characterization of silicon nanowire

José Alvarez1*, Irène Ngo1, Marie-Estelle Gueunier-Farret1, Jean-Paul Kleider1, Linwei Yu2, Pere Rocai Cabarrocas2, Simon Perraud3, Emmanuelle Rouvière3, Caroline Celle3, Céline Mouchet3 and Jean-Pierre Simonato3

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratoire de Génie Electrique de Paris, CNRS UMR 8507, SUPELEC, Univ P-Sud, UPMC Univ Paris 6, 11 rue Joliot-Curie, Plateau de Moulon, 91192 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France

2 Laboratoire de Physique des Interfaces et des Couches Minces, Ecole Polytechnique, CNRS, 91128 Palaiseau, France

3 CEA, Laboratoire des Composants pour la Récupération d'Energie (LITEN), 17 rue des Martyrs, 38054 Grenoble Cedex 9, France

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:110  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-110

Published: 31 January 2011


The electrical conduction properties of lateral and vertical silicon nanowires (SiNWs) were investigated using a conductive-probe atomic force microscopy (AFM). Horizontal SiNWs, which were synthesized by the in-plane solid-liquid-solid technique, are randomly deployed into an undoped hydrogenated amorphous silicon layer. Local current mapping shows that the wires have internal microstructures. The local current-voltage measurements on these horizontal wires reveal a power law behavior indicating several transport regimes based on space-charge limited conduction which can be assisted by traps in the high-bias regime (> 1 V). Vertical phosphorus-doped SiNWs were grown by chemical vapor deposition using a gold catalyst-driving vapor-liquid-solid process on higly n-type silicon substrates. The effect of phosphorus doping on the local contact resistance between the AFM tip and the SiNW was put in evidence, and the SiNWs resistivity was estimated.