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Metal-Catalyzed Electroless Etching of Silicon in Aerated HF/H2O Vapor for Facile Fabrication of Silicon Nanostructures

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journal contribution
posted on 13.08.2014 by Ya Hu, Kui-Qing Peng, Zhen Qiao, Xing Huang, Fu-Qiang Zhang, Rui-Nan Sun, Xiang-Min Meng, Shuit-Tong Lee
Inspired by metal corrosion in air, we demonstrate that metal-catalyzed electroless etching (MCEE) of silicon can be performed simply in aerated HF/H2O vapor for facile fabrication of three-dimensional silicon nanostructures such as silicon nanowires (SiNW) arrays. Compared to MCEE commonly performed in aqueous HF solution, the present pseudo gas phase etching offers exceptional simplicity, flexibility, environmental friendliness, and scalability for the fabrication of three-dimensional silicon nanostructures with considerable depths because of replacement of harsh oxidants such as H2O2 and AgNO3 by environmental-green and ubiquitous oxygen in air, minimum water consumption, and full utilization of HF.