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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2019 Jun 12;11(23):21094-21099. doi: 10.1021/acsami.9b04680. Epub 2019 May 29.

Unique Scattering Properties of Silicon Nanowires Embedded with Porous Segments.

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Department of Physics , Chungbuk National University , Cheongju 28644 , Korea.
Center for Molecular Spectroscopy and Dynamics , Institute for Basic Science , Seoul 02841 , Korea.


The development of advanced imaging tools is important for the investigation of the fundamental properties of nanostructures composed of single or multiple nanomaterials. However, complicated preparation processes and irreversible alterations of the samples to be examined are inevitable in most current imaging techniques. In this work, we developed a simple method based on polarization-resolved light scattering measurements to characterize the structural and optical properties of complex nanomaterials. In particular, we examined a single Si nanowire embedded with porous Si segments, in which the porous Si could not be easily distinguished from solid Si by scanning electron microscopy. The dark-field optical images and polarization-resolved scattering spectra showed unique optical features of porous and solid Si. In particular, the porosity, diameter, and number of porous Si segments in the single Si nanowire were identified from the scattering measurements. In addition, we performed systematic optical simulations based on the effective medium model in individual porous and solid Si nanowires. A good agreement between the simulation and measurement results enabled the estimation of the structural parameters of the nanowires, such as diameter and porosity. We believe that our method will be useful for analyzing the structural and optical properties of nanomaterials prior to using complicated and uneconomical imaging tools.


Si nanowire; dark-field image; finite-element method; light scattering; porous structure


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