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Snow-Ice-Inspired Approach for Growth of Amorphous Silicon Nanotips

School of Semiconductor and Chemical Engineering, Semiconductor Physics Research Center, Chonbuk National University, 567, Baekje-daero, Deokjin-gu, Jeonju 54896, Korea
Materials and Components Laboratory, Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), 218, Gajeong-no, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 34129, Korea
ETRI School, University of Science and Technology, 217, Gajeong-no, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 34113, Korea
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(5), 680;
Received: 2 April 2019 / Revised: 22 April 2019 / Accepted: 24 April 2019 / Published: 2 May 2019
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The growth of one-dimensional nanostructures without a metal catalyst via a simple solution method is of considerable interest due to its practical applications. In this study, the growth of amorphous silicon (a-Si) nanotips was investigated using an aqueous solution dropped onto the Si substrate, followed by drying at room temperature or below for 24 h, resulting in the formation of a-Si nanotips on the Si substrate. Typically, the a-Si nanotips were up to 1.6 μm long, with average top and middle diameters of 30 and 80 nm, respectively, and contained no metal catalyst in their structure. The growth of a-Si nanotips can be explained in terms of the liquid–solid mechanism, where the supercritical Si solution (liquid) generated on the Si substrate (after reaction with the aqueous solution) promotes the nucleation of solid Si (acting as seeds) on the roughened surface, followed by surface diffusion of Si atoms along the side wall of the Si seeds. This is very similar to the phenomenon observed in the growth of snow ice crystals in nature. When photoexcited at 265 nm, the a-Si nanotips showed blue luminescence at around 435 nm (2.85 eV), indicating feasible applicability of the nanotips in optoelectronic functional devices. View Full-Text
Keywords: amorphous silicon nanotips; aqueous solution; low-temperature solution process; liquid–solid mechanism amorphous silicon nanotips; aqueous solution; low-temperature solution process; liquid–solid mechanism

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Jo, S.; Kim, H.; Park, N.-M. Snow-Ice-Inspired Approach for Growth of Amorphous Silicon Nanotips. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 680.

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