Growth of low temperature silicon nano-structures for electronic and electrical energy generation applications
Emerging Technologies Research Centre, De Montfort University, Hawthorn Building, The Gateway, Leicester LE1 9BH, UK
Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:83 doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-83Published: 15 February 2013
This paper represents the lowest growth temperature for silicon nano-wires (SiNWs) via a vapour-liquid–solid method, which has ever been reported in the literature. The nano-wires were grown using plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition technique at temperatures as low as 150°C using gallium as the catalyst. This study investigates the structure and the size of the grown silicon nano-structure as functions of growth temperature and catalyst layer thickness. Moreover, the choice of the growth temperature determines the thickness of the catalyst layer to be used.
The electrical and optical characteristics of the nano-wires were tested by incorporating them in photovoltaic solar cells, two terminal bistable memory devices and Schottky diode. With further optimisation of the growth parameters, SiNWs, grown by our method, have promising future for incorporation into high performance electronic and optical devices.