Silicon is the undisputed leader for microelectronics among all the industrial materials and Si nanostructures flourish as natural candidates for tomorrow’s technologies due to the rising of novel physical properties at the nanoscale. In particular, silicon nanowires (Si NWs) are emerging as a promising resource in different fields such as electronics, photovoltaic, photonics, and sensing. Despite the plethora of techniques available for the synthesis of Si NWs, metal-assisted chemical etching (MACE) is today a cutting-edge technology for cost-effective Si nanomaterial fabrication already adopted in several research labs. During these years, MACE demonstrates interesting results for Si NW fabrication outstanding other methods. A critical study of all the main MACE routes for Si NWs is here presented, providing the comparison among all the advantages and drawbacks for different MACE approaches. All these fabrication techniques are investigated in terms of equipment, cost, complexity of the process, repeatability, also analyzing the possibility of a commercial transfer of these technologies for microelectronics, and which one may be preferred as industrial approach.
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