Metal-mediated vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) growth is a promising approach for the fabrication of silicon nanowires, although residual metal incorporation into the nanowires during growth can adversely impact electronic properties particularly when metals such as gold and copper are utilized. Aluminum, which acts as a shallow acceptor in silicon, is therefore of significant interest for the growth of p-type silicon nanowires but has presented challenges due to its propensity for oxidation. This paper summarizes the key aspects of aluminum-catalyzed nanowire growth along with wire properties and device results. In the first section, aluminum-catalyzed nanowire growth is discussed with a specific emphasis on methods to mitigate aluminum oxide formation. Next, the influence of growth parameters such as growth temperature, precursor partial pressure, and hydrogen partial pressure on nanowire morphology is discussed, followed by a brief review of the growth of templated and patterned arrays of nanowires. Aluminum incorporation into the nanowires is then discussed in detail, including measurements of the aluminum concentration within wires using atom probe tomography and assessment of electrical properties by four point resistance measurements. Finally, the use of aluminum-catalyzed VLS growth for device fabrication is reviewed including results on single-wire radial p-n junction solar cells and planar solar cells fabricated with nanowire/nanopyramid texturing.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)