Synthetically Encoding 10 nm Morphology in Silicon Nanowires
Si nanowires (NWs) have been widely explored as a platform for photonic and electronic technologies. Here, we report a bottom-up method to break the conventional “wire” symmetry and synthetically encode a high-resolution array of arbitrary shapes, including nanorods, sinusoids, bowties, tapers, nanogaps, and gratings, along the NW growth axis. Rapid modulation of phosphorus doping combined with selective wet-chemical etching enabled morphological features as small as 10 nm to be patterned over wires more than 50 μm in length. This capability fundamentally expands the set of technologies that can be realized with Si NWs, and as proof-of-concept, we demonstrate two distinct applications. First, nanogap-encoded NWs were used as templates for Noble metals, yielding plasmonic structures with tunable resonances for surface-enhanced Raman imaging. Second, core/shell Si/SiO2 nanorods were integrated into electronic devices that exhibit resistive switching, enabling nonvolatile memory storage. Moving beyond these initial examples, we envision this method will become a generic route to encode new functionality in semiconductor NWs.