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Morphological and nanostructural features of porous silicon prepared by electrochemical etching

Hyohan Kim and Namhee Cho*

Author Affiliations

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Inha University, 253 Yonghyundong, Incheon, 402-751, Republic of Korea

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:408  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-408

Published: 20 July 2012


Porous layers were produced on a p-type (100) Si wafer by electrochemical anodic etching. The morphological, nanostructural and optical features of the porous Si were investigated as functions of the etching conditions. As the wafer resistivity was increased from 0.005 to 15 Ω·cm, the etched region exhibited ‘sponge’, ‘mountain’ and ‘column’-type morphologies. Among them, the sponge-type structured sample showed the largest surface area per unit volume. Silicon nanocrystallites, 2.0 to 5.3 nm in size, were confirmed in the porous layers. The photoluminescence peaks varied in the wavelength range of 615 to 722 nm. These changes in the maximum peak position were related to the size distribution of the Si crystallites in the porous silicon. The doping levels of the wafers significantly affect the size distribution of the Si crystallites as well as the light-emitting behavior of the etched Si, which contains nanoscale Si crystallites.

Electrochemical etching; Nanocrystal; Photoluminescence; Porous silicon.