Precision Synthesis of Silicon Nanowires with Crystalline Core and Amorphous Shell
A synthetic route to crystalline silicon (Si) nanowires with an amorphous Si shell is reported. Trisilane (Si3H8) and Sn(HMDS)(2) are decomposed in supercritical toluene at 450 degrees C. Sn(HMDS)(2) creates Sn nanoparticles that seed Si nanowire growth by the supercritical fluid-liquid-solid (SFLS) mechanism. The Si : Sn ratio in the reaction determines the growth of amorphous Si shell. No amorphous shell forms at relatively low Si : Sn ratios of 20 : 1, whereas higher Si : Sn ratio of 40 : 1 leads to significant amorphous shell. We propose that hydrogen evolved from trisilane decomposition etches away the Sn seed particles as nanowires grow, which promotes the amorphous Si shell deposition when the higher Si : Sn ratios are used.