Electron energy loss spectroscopy and bioapplications of silicon nanowires
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Silicon nanowires have great potential for applications in electronics, photovoltaics and biomedical applications, but as of yet, silicon nanowires are not used in any commercial application. More characterization is needed to better understand and control their surfaces and electronic properties. Here, electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) is used to characterize silicon nanowires made by the supercritical-fluid-liquid-solid process. EELS is able to analyze the elemental composition of core and shell structures with high spatial resolution. Additionally, the biocompatibility and antibacterial properties of silicon nanowires are assessed for potential bioapplications. Preliminary investigations suggest that nanowires have an anti-proliferative effect on E. coli and discourage adhesion of mammalian cells. Future investigations may prove that silicon nanowires are a promising material for biomedical implant coatings to prevent biofouling.