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Open AccessArticle

A Facile, Low-Cost Plasma Etching Method for Achieving Size Controlled Non-Close-Packed Monolayer Arrays of Polystyrene Nano-Spheres

1
State Key Laboratory of Precision Electronic Manufacturing Technology and Equipment, Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou 510006, China
2
School of Engineering, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin 999077, Hong Kong, China
3
Key Laboratory of Precision Microelectronic Manufacturing Technology & Equipment of Ministry of Education, Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou 510006, China
4
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(4), 605; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9040605
Received: 17 February 2019 / Revised: 4 April 2019 / Accepted: 5 April 2019 / Published: 12 April 2019
Monolayer nano-sphere arrays attract great research interest as they can be used as templates to fabricate various nano-structures. Plasma etching, and in particular high-frequency plasma etching, is the most commonly used method to obtain non-close-packed monolayer arrays. However, the method is still limited in terms of cost and efficiency. In this study, we demonstrate that a low frequency (40 kHz) plasma etching system can be used to fabricate non-close-packed monolayer arrays of polystyrene (PS) nano-spheres with smooth surfaces and that the etching rate is nearly doubled compared to that of the high-frequency systems. The study reveals that the low-frequency plasma etching process is dominated by a thermal evaporation etching mechanism, which is different from the atom-scale dissociation mechanism that underlines the high-frequency plasma etching. It is found that the polystyrene nano-sphere size can be precisely controlled by either adjusting the etching time or power. Through introducing oxygen as the assisting gas in the low frequency plasma etching system, we achieved a coalesced polystyrene nano-sphere array and used it as a template for metal-assisted chemical etching. We demonstrate that the method can significantly improve the aspect ratio of the silicon nanowires to over 200 due to the improved flexure rigidity. View Full-Text
Keywords: plasma etching; non-close-packed monolayer array; ultra-high aspect ratio nanowire; Si nanowire; metal-assisted chemical etching plasma etching; non-close-packed monolayer array; ultra-high aspect ratio nanowire; Si nanowire; metal-assisted chemical etching
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MDPI and ACS Style

Chen, Y.; Shi, D.; Chen, Y.; Chen, X.; Gao, J.; Zhao, N.; Wong, C.-P. A Facile, Low-Cost Plasma Etching Method for Achieving Size Controlled Non-Close-Packed Monolayer Arrays of Polystyrene Nano-Spheres. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 605. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9040605

AMA Style

Chen Y, Shi D, Chen Y, Chen X, Gao J, Zhao N, Wong C-P. A Facile, Low-Cost Plasma Etching Method for Achieving Size Controlled Non-Close-Packed Monolayer Arrays of Polystyrene Nano-Spheres. Nanomaterials. 2019; 9(4):605. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9040605

Chicago/Turabian Style

Chen, Yun; Shi, Dachuang; Chen, Yanhui; Chen, Xun; Gao, Jian; Zhao, Ni; Wong, Ching-Ping. 2019. "A Facile, Low-Cost Plasma Etching Method for Achieving Size Controlled Non-Close-Packed Monolayer Arrays of Polystyrene Nano-Spheres" Nanomaterials 9, no. 4: 605. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9040605

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