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Title: Transient Clustering of Reaction Intermediates during Wet Etching of Silicon Nanostructures
Xiu Mei Xu
Soumyo Sen
Petr Kral
Frank Holsteyns
Keywords: Etching,Molecules,Silicon,Transmission electron microscopy,Nanoclusters
Issue Date: 18-Apr-2017
Publisher: Nano Letters
Citation: ZAINUL AABDIN, Xiu Mei Xu, Soumyo Sen, UTKARSH ANAND, Petr Kral, Frank Holsteyns, UTKUR MIRZIYODOVICH MIRSAIDOV (2017-04-18). Transient Clustering of Reaction Intermediates during Wet Etching of Silicon Nanostructures. Nano Letters 17 : 2953−2958. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Rights: CC0 1.0 Universal
Related Datasets: DOI:10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b00196
Abstract: Wet chemical etching is a key process in fabricating silicon (Si) nanostructures. Currently, wet etching of Si is proposed to occur through the reaction of surface Si atoms with etchant molecules, forming etch intermediates that dissolve directly into the bulk etchant solution. Here, using in situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM), we follow the nanoscale wet etch dynamics of amorphous Si (a-Si) nanopillars in real-time and show that intermediates generated during alkaline wet etching first aggregate as nanoclusters on the Si surface and then detach from the surface before dissolving in the etchant solution. Molecular dynamics simulations reveal that the molecules of etch intermediates remain weakly bound to the hydroxylated Si surface during the etching and aggregate into nanoclusters via surface diffusion instead of directly diffusing into the etchant solution. We confirmed this model experimentally by suppressing the formation of nanoclusters of etch intermediates on the Si surfaces by shielding the hydroxylated Si sites with large ions. These results suggest that the interaction of etch intermediates with etching surfaces controls the solubility of reaction intermediates and is an important parameter in fabricating densely packed clean 3D nanostructures for future generation microelectronics.
Source Title: Nano Letters
DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b00196
Rights: CC0 1.0 Universal
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