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Synthesis of single crystalline silicon nanowires and investigation of their electron field emission

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4 Author(s)
McClain, D. ; Department of Physics, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon 97207-0751 ; Solanki, R. ; Dong, Lifeng ; Jun Jiao

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A systematic study of the effects of growth parameters on the morphology and field emission performance of silicon nanowires has been undertaken. Single-crystalline silicon nanowires were synthesized by chemical vapor deposition using indium tin oxide-coated glass as a substrate. Morphologies, internal structures and chemical compositions of the resulting nanowires were analyzed using scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy. The resulting silicon nanowires possessed a highly ordered single crystalline Si core without an external oxide layer and no obvious indium or tin impurities. For silicon nanowires with growth-times of 5, 10, and 20 mins, the turn-on fields were determined to be 7.4, 7.9, and 11.5 Vm, while the threshold fields were 9.9, 11.8, and 16.9 Vm, respectively. Field enhancement factors of 540, 270, and 265 were also calculated while peak emission currents in excess of 25 μA were observed for nanowires with 5 min growth-times. These results strongly suggest the viability of silicon nanowires as emitters in devices where high emission currents are required.

Published in:

Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B: Microelectronics and Nanometer Structures  (Volume:24 ,  Issue: 1 )