One-Step Fabrication for the Assembly of Improved Silicon Nanowires

Technology #15684

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Researchers
Kirk Jeremy Ziegler
Yang Zhao
Cheng Xu
Yin Fang
Peng Jiang
Luping Li
Managed By
Richard Croley
Assistant Director 352-392-8929
Patent Protection
PCT Patent Application WO2016/205610

Top-Down Lithography Constructs Uniform Nanowires for More Precise Optics

This 2-D Tunable Nanosphere Lithography constructs enhanced silicon nanowires for efficient use in the optic industry. The optic industry includes markets such as photonics, photovoltaics (solar cells), lithium batteries, and sensors. Existing fabrication methods function inefficiently due to inconsistent nanosphere and nanowire diameters, as well as extensive manufacturing periods. Additionally, existing fabrication methods use intense plasma/heat treatments to reduce the size of nanospheres, causing defects in the shape and size uniformity of nanospheres The lack of nanosphere and nanowire diameter size control leads to reduced accuracy and sensitivity of optic sensors; further, lengthy manufacturing periods decrease market efficiency and simplicity. University of Florida researchers have discovered method top-down nanosphere topography that eliminates diameter size inconsistency while significantly decreasing manufacturing time, thereby greatly improving the efficiency and precision of optics. This method does not use intense heat/plasma treatment, preventing defects in shape and size uniformity.

Application

Nanosphere lithography produces uniform silicon nanowires for precise optics

Advantages

  • Simplifies manufacture of silicon wires, reducing manufacturing time and costs.
  • Eliminates heat processing, eliminating shape and size defects
  • Fabricates at high aspect-ratios with negligible defects, generating longer, uniform nanowires
  • Controls nanosphere spacing and diameter, increasing optical precision

Technology

This 2-D Tunable Nanosphere Lithography (2D-NSL) fabricates silicon nanowires with controlled spacing and diameter. The process uses a spun-coated hexagonal pattern of nanospheres loaded on the surface of a colloid substrate, which is then centrifuged for an extended period of time. This method capitalizes on the centrifugal and viscous forces experienced by the nanospheric suspension, resulting in their connective, radial arrangement. By depositing a metal film on the substrate/nanosphere surface and then dipping the resulting material in ethanol and an etching solution, researchers produced nanowires with uniform spacing and diameter. By modifying the etching time, scientists can control the length of the nanowires.