Effect of diborane on the microstructure of boron-doped silicon nanowires

Ling Pan, Kok Keong Lew, Joan M. Redwing, Elizabeth C. Dickey

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Boron-doped silicon (Si) nanowires, with nominal diameters of 80 nm, were grown via the vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) mechanism using gold (Au) as a catalyst and silane (SiH4) and diborane (B2H6) as precursors. The microstructure of the nanowires was studied by scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and electron energy-loss spectroscopy. At lower B2H6 partial pressure and thus lower doping levels (≤1×1018 cm-3), most of the boron-doped Si nanowires exhibited high crystallinity. At higher B 2H6 partial pressure (∼2×1019 cm -3 doping level), the majority of the wires exhibited a core-shell structure with an amorphous Si shell (20-30 nm thick) surrounding a crystalline Si core. Au nanoparticles on the outer surface of the nanowires were also observed in structures grown with high B/Si gas ratios. The structural changes are believed to result from an increase in the rate of Si thin-film deposition on the outer surface of the nanowire at high B2H6 partial pressure, which produces the amorphous coating and also causes an instability at the liquid/solid interface resulting in a loss of Au during nanowire growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)428-436
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Crystal Growth
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Apr 15 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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