Synthesis of silicon/germanium nanowires and field emission studies of 1-D nanostructures
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Using the vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) growth method, silicon nanowires and germanium nanowires are grown. We find the high growth rate is responsible for the silicon nanowires with less growth defects when they are grown by use of silicon tetrachloride as a precursor and hydrogen as a carrier gas. Based on this funding, large area, high aspect ratio, h111i oriented silicon nanowires are successfully grown on Si (111) and Si (100). Novel growth mechanisms of VLS growth method were discovered in SiOx nanoflowers and silicon nanocones. In SiOx nanoflowers grown at the tip of silicon nanowires, it is found that they are produced via the enhanced oxidation of silicon at the gold-silicon interface. Furthermore, the analysis of the flower pattern reveals that it is the observation of the dense branching morphology on nanoscale and on spherical geometry. For the silicon nanocones, they are grown by the in situ etching of the catalysts of Ga/Al by HCl during the growth. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) reveal that the nanocones are composed of amorphous silicon oxides and crystalline Si. Based on the similar chemistry of hydrogen reduction of SiCl₄ for the growth of silicon nanowires, single crystalline germanium nanowires are grown by use of GeCl4 as a precursor and H₂ as a carrier gas. As one of important application of one dimensional nanostructures, the field emission properties of 1-D nanostructures are explored. The field emission properties of a single graphite nanocone are measured in SEM. The inter-electrode separation is controlled using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) approach method, allowing the precise and ne determination of the separation. Its Fowler-Nordheim plot shows it emits currents in accordance with the Fowler-Nordheim field emission. Its onset voltage, field enhancement factor show that its basic field emission parameters are comparable to those of a single carbon nanotube. It is observed that single nanocone is damaged after emitting a current of about 100 nA, which seems to be due to its hollow interior structure.