Extended Arrays of Vertically Aligned Sub-10 nm Diameter [100] Si Nanowires by Metal-Assisted Chemical Etching

Large-area high density silicon nanowire (SiNW) arrays were fabricated by metal-assisted chemical etching of silicon, utilizing anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) as a patterning mask of a thin metallic film on a Si (100) substrate. Both the diameter of the pores in the AAO mask and the thickness of the metal film affected the diameter of SiNWs. The diameter of the SiNWs decreased with an increase of thickness of the metal film. Large-area SiNWs with average diameters of 20 nm down to 8 nm and wire densities as high as 1010 wires/cm2 were accomplished. These SiNWs were single crystalline and vertically aligned to the (100) substrate. It was revealed by transmission electron microscopy that the SiNWs were of high crystalline quality and showed a smooth surface.