Indexed on: 12 Apr '08Published on: 12 Apr '08Published in: Nano Letters
One of the major challenges toward Si nanowire (SiNW) based photonic devices is controlling the electronic band structure of the Si nanowire to obtain a direct band gap. Here, we present a new strategy for controlling the electronic band structure of Si nanowires. Our method is attributed to the band structure modulation driven by uniaxial strain. We show that the band structure modulation with lattice strain is strongly dependent on the crystal orientation and diameter of SiNWs. In the case of  and  SiNWs, tensile strain enhances the direct band gap characteristic, whereas compressive strain attenuates it.  SiNWs have a different strain dependence in that both compressive and tensile strain make SiNWs exhibit an indirect band gap. We discuss the origin of this strain dependence based on the band features of bulk silicon and the wave functions of SiNWs. These results could be helpful for band structure engineering and analysis of SiNWs in nanoscale devices.