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Nanoscale Res Lett. 2011 Aug 17;6:495. doi: 10.1186/1556-276X-6-495.

An alternative route for the synthesis of silicon nanowires via porous anodic alumina masks.

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School of Science and Technology, University of Turabo, Gurabo, 00778 PR, USA.


Amorphous Si nanowires have been directly synthesized by a thermal processing of Si substrates. This method involves the deposition of an anodic aluminum oxide mask on a crystalline Si (100) substrate. Fe, Au, and Pt thin films with thicknesses of ca. 30 nm deposited on the anodic aluminum oxide-Si substrates have been used as catalysts. During the thermal treatment of the samples, thin films of the metal catalysts are transformed in small nanoparticles incorporated within the pore structure of the anodic aluminum oxide mask, directly in contact with the Si substrate. These homogeneously distributed metal nanoparticles are responsible for the growth of Si nanowires with regular diameter by a simple heating process at 800°C in an Ar-H2 atmosphere and without an additional Si source. The synthesized Si nanowires have been characterized by field emission scanning electron microscopy, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and Raman.

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