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Published December 21, 2000 | public
Journal Article

Silicon Nanowires: Preparation, Device Fabrication, and Transport Properties


The preparation of 20 ± 5 nm diameter Si nanowires and the electrical characterization of Si nanowire devices are presented. The nanowires were grown at 450−500 °C on solid substrates via the vapor−liquid−solid mechanism using Au or Zn nucleation catalysts and SiH4 as the silicon source. The wires were investigated by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. Two types of wires were found, as characterized by different growth directions (〈111̄〉 and 〈211〉). Several types of devices, including crossed nanowire devices, four- and six-terminal devices, and three-terminal (gated) devices, were fabricated. For certain devices, various electrode compositions were also studied. The measured resistivity of these nanowires was separated from the contact resistance and could be varied from >10^5 Ω cm to ∼10^(-3) Ω cm. The wide variation in resistivity was related to the nature of the electrical contact to the wires (Schottky or Ohmic) and to the doping level of the wires. Doping of the nanowires was performed by the thermal diffusion of metal catalyst into the nanowires at 750−850 °C. Au nucleated nanowires exhibited resistivity values much lower than those of similarly treated Zn nucleated nanowires. This result is attributed to the much larger relative solid solubility of gold in silicon.

Additional Information

© 2000 American Chemical Society. Received 20 July 2000. Published online 23 November 2000. Published in print 1 December 2000. The authors thank Ted I. Kamins for helpful discussions. This work was funded by the ONR (Grant N00014-98-1-0422) and DARPA.

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