Micromachines, Vol. 12, Pages 611: Enhanced Microsphere-Assisted Picosecond Laser Processing for Nanohole Fabrication on Silicon via Thin Gold Coating

Research paper by Qiuling Wen, Xinyu Wei, Pengcheng Zhang, Jing Lu, Feng Jiang, Xizhao Lu

Indexed on: 03 Jun '21Published on: 26 May '21Published in: Micromachines


The nanohole arrays on the silicon substrate can effectively enhance the light absorption in thin film silicon solar cells. In order to optimize the solar energy absorption, polystyrene microspheres with diameters of 1 μm are used to assist picosecond laser with a wavelength of 1064 nm to fabricate nanohole arrays on silicon substrate. The experimental results show that the morphology and size of the silicon nanoholes strongly depend on the laser fluence. At 1.19–1.59 J/cm2 laser fluences, well-ordered arrays of nanoholes were fabricated on silicon substrate, with diameters domain from 250 to 549 nm and depths ranging from 60 to 99 nm. However, large amounts of sputtered nanoparticles appeared around the silicon nanoholes. To improve the surface morphology of silicon nanoholes, a nanolayered gold coating is applied on silicon surface to assist laser processing. The results show that, for gold-coated silicon substrate, sputtered nanoparticles around the nanoholes are almost invisible and the cross-sectional profiles of the nanoholes are smoother. Moreover, the ablation rate of the nanoholes on the gold-coated silicon substrate have increased compared to that of the nanoholes on the uncoated one. This simple method allows fast fabrication of well-ordered nanoholes on silicon substrate without sputtered nanoparticles and with smooth inner surface.