Open Access Nano Express

Kinetic study of H-terminated silicon nanowires oxidation in very first stages

Muhammad Y Bashouti1, Kasra Sardashti1, Jürgen Ristein2 and Silke Christiansen1*

Author Affiliations

1 Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light Physics department Günther-Scharowsky-St. 1, Erlangen, 91058, Germany

2 Technical Physics, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erwin-Rommel St.1, Erlangen, 91058, Germany

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:41  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-41

Published: 21 January 2013


Oxidation of silicon nanowires (Si NWs) is an undesirable phenomenon that has a detrimental effect on their electronic properties. To prevent oxidation of Si NWs, a deeper understanding of the oxidation reaction kinetics is necessary. In the current work, we study the oxidation kinetics of hydrogen-terminated Si NWs (H-Si NWs) as the starting surfaces for molecular functionalization of Si surfaces. H-Si NWs of 85-nm average diameter were annealed at various temperatures from 50°C to 400°C, in short-time spans ranging from 5 to 60 min. At high temperatures (T ≥ 200°C), oxidation was found to be dominated by the oxide growth site formation (made up of silicon suboxides) and subsequent silicon oxide self-limitation. Si-Si backbond oxidation and Si-H surface bond propagation dominated the process at lower temperatures (T < 200°C).

Silicon nanowires; Oxidation; Kinetics; Activation energy