Silicon Nanowires, Catalytic Growth and Electrical Characterization

Research paper by Walter M. Weber, Georg S. Duesberg, Andrew P. Graham, Maik Liebau, Eugen Unger, Caroline Cheze, Lutz Geelhaar, Paolo Lugli, Henning Riechert, Franz Kreupl

Indexed on: 13 Sep '06Published on: 13 Sep '06Published in: Physics - Materials Science


Nominally undoped silicon nanowires (NW) were grown by catalytic chemical vapor deposition. The growth process was optimized to control the NWs diameters by using different Au catalyst thicknesses on amorphous SiO2, Si3N4, or crystalline-Si substrates. For SiO2 substrates an Ar plasma treatment was used to homogenize the catalyst coalescence, and thus the NWs diameter. Furthermore, planar field effect transistors (FETs) were fabricated by implementing 10 to 30 nm thin nominally undoped Si-NWs as the active region. Various silicides were investigated as Schottky-barrier source and drain contacts for the active region. For CoSi, NiSi and PdSi contacts, the FETs transfer characteristics showed p-type behavior. A FET consisting of a single Si-NW with 20 nanometers diameter and 2.5 micrometer gate-length delivers as much as 0.15 microA on-current at 1 volt bias voltage and has an on/off current ratio of 10^7. This is in contrast to recent reports of low conductance in undoped Si.