Use of phosphine as an n-type dopant source for vapor-liquid-solid growth of silicon nanowires

Yanfeng Wang, Kok Keong Lew, Tsung Ta Ho, Ling Pan, Steven W. Novak, Elizabeth C. Dickey, Joan Marie Redwing, Theresa S. Mayer

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137 Scopus citations


Phosphine (PH 3) was investigated as an n-type dopant source for Au-catalyzed vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) growth of phosphorus-doped silicon nanowires (SiNWs). Transmission electron microscopy characterization revealed that the as-grown SiNWs were predominately single crystal even at high phosphorus concentrations. Four-point resistance and gate-dependent conductance measurements confirmed that electrically active phosphorus was incorporated into the SiNWs during VLS growth. A transition was observed from p-type conduction for nominally undoped SiNWs to n-ype conduction upon the introduction of PH 3 to the inlet gas. The resistivity of the n-type SiNWs decreased by approximately 3 orders of magnitude as the inlet PH 3 to silane (SiH 4) gas ratio was increased from 2 × 10 -5 to 2 × 10 -3. These results demonstrate that PH 3 can be used to produce n-type SiNWs with properties that are suitable for electronic and optoelectronic device applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2139-2143
Number of pages5
JournalNano Letters
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)


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