Controlled faceting and morphology for light trapping in aluminum-catalyzed silicon nanostructures

Mel F. Hainey, Chen Chen, Yue Ke, Marcie R. Black, Joan M. Redwing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Aluminum-catalyzed silicon nanopyramids grown using low-pressure chemical vapor deposition (LPCVD) are presented as an approach to silicon surface texturing. The nanopyramids are grown by vapor-liquid-solid growth using aluminum thin films on silicon. Silicon nanowires with hexagonal cross-sections are formed at a growth temperature of 650 °C; as the temperature is increased to 700 °C, the wires become pyramid-shaped with triangular cross-sections. The silicon nanopyramids are single-crystal and grow in the <111>direction with (112) facets, as confirmed by transmission electron microscopy. Pyramid tapering increases with increasing growth temperatures and the pyramid arrays grown at 700 °C show reflectivities between 4 and 6% between 400 nm and 800 nm and appear black to the eye. Based on these results, aluminum-catalyzed nanopyramids present themselves as a plausible alternative to etch-based silicon surface textures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)248-252
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Crystal Growth
StatePublished - Oct 15 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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