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Open Access Nano Express

Carbon-assisted growth and high visible-light optical reflectivity of amorphous silicon oxynitride nanowires

Lei Zhang1, Tielin Shi1, Zirong Tang2*, Dan Liu1, Shuang Xi2, Xiaoping Li2 and Wuxing Lai1

Author Affiliations

1 State Key laboratory of Digital Manufacturing Equipment and Technology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China

2 Wuhan National Laboratory for Optoelectronics, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:469  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-469

Published: 25 July 2011

Abstract

Large amounts of amorphous silicon oxynitride nanowires have been synthesized on silicon wafer through carbon-assisted vapor-solid growth avoiding the contamination from metallic catalysts. These nanowires have the length of up to 100 μm, with a diameter ranging from 50 to 150 nm. Around 3-nm-sized nanostructures are observed to be homogeneously distributed within a nanowire cross-section matrix. The unique configuration might determine the growth of ternary amorphous structure and its special splitting behavior. Optical properties of the nanowires have also been investigated. The obtained nanowires were attractive for their exceptional whiteness, perceived brightness, and optical brilliance. These nanowires display greatly enhanced reflection over the whole visible wavelength, with more than 80% of light reflected on most of the wavelength ranging from 400 to 700 nm and the lowest reflectivity exceeding 70%, exhibiting performance superior to that of the reported white beetle. Intense visible photoluminescence is also observed over a broad spectrum ranging from 320 to 500 nm with two shoulders centered at around 444 and 468 nm, respectively.