Silicon on silicon : self-organized nanotip arrays formed in reactive Ar+H2 plasmas

Levchenko, I., Huang, S.Y., Ostrikov, K., & Xu, S. (2010) Silicon on silicon : self-organized nanotip arrays formed in reactive Ar+H2 plasmas. Nanotechnology, 21(2), 025605.

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Abstract

The formation of arrays of vertically aligned nanotips on a moderately heated (up to 500 degrees C) Si surface exposed to reactive low-temperature radio frequency (RF) Ar+H(2) plasmas is studied. It is demonstrated that the nanotip surface density, aspect ratio and height dispersion strongly depend on the substrate temperature, discharge power, and gas composition. It is shown that nanotips with aspect ratios from 2.0 to 4.0 can only be produced at a higher RF power density (41.7 mW cm(-3)) and a hydrogen content of about 60%, and that larger aspect ratios can be achieved at substrate temperatures of about 300 degrees C. The use of higher (up to 500 degrees C) temperatures leads to a decrease of the aspect ratio but promotes the formation of more uniform arrays with the height dispersion decreasing to 1.5. At lower (approximately 20 mW cm(-3)) RF power density, only semispherical nanodots can be produced. Based on these experimental results, a nanotip formation scenario is proposed suggesting that sputtering, etching, hydrogen termination, and atom/radical re-deposition are the main concurrent mechanisms for the nanostructure formation. Numerical calculations of the ion flux distribution and hydrogen termination profiles can be used to predict the nanotip shapes and are in a good agreement with the experimental results. This approach can be applied to describe the kinetics of low-temperature formation of other nanoscale materials by plasma treatment.

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38 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 73786
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
DOI: 10.1088/0957-4484/21/2/025605
ISSN: 1361-6528
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Deposited On: 11 Jul 2014 04:03
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2014 00:57

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