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Nano Lett. 2008 Sep;8(9):2620-4. doi: 10.1021/nl080265s. Epub 2008 Aug 14.

Distribution of active impurities in single silicon nanowires.

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  • 1Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Kobe University, Rokkodai, Nada, Kobe 657-8501, Japan.


The distribution of electrically active B concentration in single SiNWs (nanowires) grown by a vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) process was studied by analyzing Fano resonance in Raman spectra. We found a gradient of active B concentration along the growth direction; the B concentration was the largest at the substrate side and the smallest at the catalyst side. The observed concentration gradient suggests the conformal growth of a high B concentration layer during a VLS process. To confirm this effect, we grew SiNWs with controlled impurity profiles, that is, p-type/intrinsic ( p-i) and intrinsic/ p-type ( i-p) SiNWs, by controlling the supply of B source during SiNWs growth. We found that p-i SiNWs can be grown by just stopping the supply of B source in the middle of the growth, while i-p SiNWs were not realized; that is, the whole region of nominal " i-p" SiNWs was B-doped even if we started the supply of B source in the middle of the growth. These results confirm the above doping model. We also found that the distribution of active B concentration was significantly modified by high temperature annealing. By annealing at 1,100 degrees C for 1 min, B concentration became almost uniform along 10 microm long SiNWs irrespective of initial B profiles. This suggests very efficient diffusion of B atoms in a defective high B concentration surface layer of SiNWs.

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