Special Issue "Silicon-Based Nanomaterials: Technology and Applications"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 October 2018).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Robert W. Kelsall
Website
Guest Editor
School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
Interests: nanostructured semiconductor devices; electronic, optical and thermal properties; device design and simulation; silicon-based photonic components and systems

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Silicon has proved remarkably resilient as a commercial electronic material. The microelectronics industry has harnessed nanotechnology to continually push the performance limits of silicon devices and integrated circuits. Rather than shrinking its market share, silicon is displacing “competitor” semiconductors in domains such as high-frequency electronics and integrated photonics. There are strong business drivers underlying these trends; however, an important contribution is also being made by research groups worldwide who are developing new configurations, designs and applications of silicon-based nanoscale and nanostructured materials. The purpose of this Special Issue is to bring together the state-of-art in this field. Papers are invited on any of the functional properties of chemically or physically engineered silicon-based nanosystems (including nano-layered systems, nanorods/wires, quantum dots, nanocrystals and self-organised/self-assembled nanostructures). Papers may cover novel fabrication, preparation or processing techniques, novel physical structures, novel properties or performance levels, novel methods for manipulation/control of functional properties, and/or novel application areas.

Prof. Dr. Robert W. Kelsall
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • nanoelectronics
  • nanophotonics
  • optoelectronics
  • solar cells
  • FETs
  • DRAM
  • non-volatile memory
  • integration
  • interconnects
  • Moore’s Law

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Bendable Single Crystal Silicon Nanomembrane Thin Film Transistors with Improved Low-Temperature Processed Metal/n-Si Ohmic Contact by Inserting TiO2 Interlayer
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(12), 1060; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8121060 - 16 Dec 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Bendable single crystal silicon nanomembrane thin film transistors (SiNMs TFTs), employing a simple method which can improve the metal/n-Silicon (Si) contact characteristics by inserting the titanium dioxide (TiO2) interlayer deposited by atomic layer deposition (ALD) at a low temperature (90 °C), [...] Read more.
Bendable single crystal silicon nanomembrane thin film transistors (SiNMs TFTs), employing a simple method which can improve the metal/n-Silicon (Si) contact characteristics by inserting the titanium dioxide (TiO2) interlayer deposited by atomic layer deposition (ALD) at a low temperature (90 °C), are fabricated on ITO/PET flexible substrates. Current-voltage characteristics of titanium (Ti)/insertion layer (IL)/n-Si structures demonstrates that they are typically ohmic contacts. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) results determines that TiO2 is oxygen-vacancies rich, which may dope TiO2 and contribute to a lower resistance. By inserting TiO2 between Ti and n-Si, Ids of bendable single crystal SiNMs TFTs increases 3–10 times than those without the TiO2 insertion layer. The fabricated bendable devices show superior flexible properties. The TFTs, whose electrical properties keeps almost unchanged in 800 cycles bending with a bending radius of 0.75 cm, obtains the durability in bending test. All of the results confirm that it is a promising method to insert the TiO2 interlayer for improving the Metal/n-Si ohmic contact in fabrication of bendable single crystal SiNMs TFTs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Growth and Self-Assembly of Silicon–Silicon Carbide Nanoparticles into Hybrid Worm-Like Nanostructures at the Silicon Wafer Surface
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(11), 954; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8110954 - 20 Nov 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
This work describes the growth of silicon–silicon carbide nanoparticles (Si–SiC) and their self-assembly into worm-like 1D hybrid nanostructures at the interface of graphene oxide/silicon wafer (GO/Si) under Ar atmosphere at 1000 °C. Depending on GO film thickness, spread silicon nanoparticles apparently develop on [...] Read more.
This work describes the growth of silicon–silicon carbide nanoparticles (Si–SiC) and their self-assembly into worm-like 1D hybrid nanostructures at the interface of graphene oxide/silicon wafer (GO/Si) under Ar atmosphere at 1000 °C. Depending on GO film thickness, spread silicon nanoparticles apparently develop on GO layers, or GO-embedded Si–SiC nanoparticles self-assembled into some-micrometers-long worm-like nanowires. It was found that the nanoarrays show that carbon–silicon-based nanowires (CSNW) are standing on the Si wafer. It was assumed that Si nanoparticles originated from melted Si at the Si wafer surface and GO-induced nucleation. Additionally, a mechanism for the formation of CSNW is proposed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
On-Demand CMOS-Compatible Fabrication of Ultrathin Self-Aligned SiC Nanowire Arrays
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(11), 906; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8110906 - 05 Nov 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
The field of semiconductor nanowires (NWs) has become one of the most active and mature research areas. However, progress in this field has been limited, due to the difficulty in controlling the density, orientation, and placement of the individual NWs, parameters important for [...] Read more.
The field of semiconductor nanowires (NWs) has become one of the most active and mature research areas. However, progress in this field has been limited, due to the difficulty in controlling the density, orientation, and placement of the individual NWs, parameters important for mass producing nanodevices. The work presented herein describes a novel nanosynthesis strategy for ultrathin self-aligned silicon carbide (SiC) NW arrays (≤ 20 nm width, 130 nm height and 200–600 nm variable periodicity), with high quality (~2 Å surface roughness, ~2.4 eV optical bandgap) and reproducibility at predetermined locations, using fabrication protocols compatible with silicon microelectronics. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, ultraviolet-visible spectroscopic ellipsometry, atomic force microscopy, X-ray diffractometry, and transmission electron microscopy studies show nanosynthesis of high-quality polycrystalline cubic 3C-SiC materials (average 5 nm grain size) with tailored properties. An extension of the nanofabrication process is presented for integrating technologically important erbium ions as emission centers at telecom C-band wavelengths. This integration allows for deterministic positioning of the ions and engineering of the ions’ spontaneous emission properties through the resulting NW-based photonic structures, both of which are critical to practical device fabrication for quantum information applications. This holistic approach can enable the development of new scalable SiC nanostructured materials for use in a plethora of emerging applications, such as NW-based sensing, single-photon sources, quantum LEDs, and quantum photonics. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
3C-SiC Nanowires In-Situ Modified Carbon/Carbon Composites and Their Effect on Mechanical and Thermal Properties
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(11), 894; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8110894 - 01 Nov 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
An in-situ, catalyst-free method for synthesizing 3C-SiC ceramic nanowires (SiCNWs) inside carbon–carbon (C/C) composites was successfully achieved. Obtained samples in different stages were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and Raman scattering spectroscopy. Results demonstrated that the combination of sol-gel [...] Read more.
An in-situ, catalyst-free method for synthesizing 3C-SiC ceramic nanowires (SiCNWs) inside carbon–carbon (C/C) composites was successfully achieved. Obtained samples in different stages were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and Raman scattering spectroscopy. Results demonstrated that the combination of sol-gel impregnation and carbothermal reduction was an efficient method for in-situ SiCNW synthesis, inside C/C composites. Thermal properties and mechanical behaviors—including out-of-plane and in-plane compressive strengths, as well as interlaminar shear strength (ILLS) of SiCNW modified C/C composites—were investigated. By introducing SiCNWs, the initial oxidation temperature of C/C was increased remarkably. Meanwhile, out-of-plane and in-plane compressive strengths, as well as interlaminar shear strength (ILLS) of C/C composites were increased by 249.3%, 109.2%, and 190.0%, respectively. This significant improvement resulted from simultaneous reinforcement between the fiber/matrix (F/M) and matrix/matrix (M/M) interfaces, based on analysis of the fracture mechanism. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Enhanced Electroluminescence from Silicon Quantum Dots Embedded in Silicon Nitride Thin Films Coupled with Gold Nanoparticles in Light Emitting Devices
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(4), 182; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8040182 - 22 Mar 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
Nowadays, the use of plasmonic metal layers to improve the photonic emission characteristics of several semiconductor quantum dots is a booming tool. In this work, we report the use of silicon quantum dots (SiQDs) embedded in a silicon nitride thin film coupled with [...] Read more.
Nowadays, the use of plasmonic metal layers to improve the photonic emission characteristics of several semiconductor quantum dots is a booming tool. In this work, we report the use of silicon quantum dots (SiQDs) embedded in a silicon nitride thin film coupled with an ultra-thin gold film (AuNPs) to fabricate light emitting devices. We used the remote plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition technique (RPECVD) in order to grow two types of silicon nitride thin films. One with an almost stoichiometric composition, acting as non-radiative spacer; the other one, with a silicon excess in its chemical composition, which causes the formation of silicon quantum dots imbibed in the silicon nitride thin film. The ultra-thin gold film was deposited by the direct current (DC)-sputtering technique, and an aluminum doped zinc oxide thin film (AZO) which was deposited by means of ultrasonic spray pyrolysis, plays the role of the ohmic metal-like electrode. We found that there is a maximum electroluminescence (EL) enhancement when the appropriate AuNPs-spacer-SiQDs configuration is used. This EL is achieved at a moderate turn-on voltage of 11 V, and the EL enhancement is around four times bigger than the photoluminescence (PL) enhancement of the same AuNPs-spacer-SiQDs configuration. From our experimental results, we surmise that EL enhancement may indeed be due to a plasmonic coupling. This kind of silicon-based LEDs has the potential for technology transfer. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Long-Term Mechanical Behavior of Nano Silica Sol Grouting
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(1), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8010046 - 16 Jan 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
The longevity of grouting has a significant effect on the safe and sustainable operation of many engineering projects. A 500-day experiment was carried out to study the long-term mechanical behavior of nano silica sol grouting. The nano silica sol was activated with different [...] Read more.
The longevity of grouting has a significant effect on the safe and sustainable operation of many engineering projects. A 500-day experiment was carried out to study the long-term mechanical behavior of nano silica sol grouting. The nano silica sol was activated with different proportions of a NaCl catalyst and cured under fluctuating temperature and humidity conditions. The mechanical parameters of the grout samples were tested using an electrohydraulic uniaxial compression tester and an improved Vicat instrument. Scanning electron microscope, X-ray diffraction, and ultrasonic velocity tests were carried out to analyze the strength change micro-mechanism. Tests showed that as the catalyst dosage in the grout mix is decreased, the curves on the graphs showing changes in the weight and geometric parameters of the samples over time could be divided into three stages, a shrinkage stage, a stable stage, and a second shrinkage stage. The catalyst improved the stability of the samples and reduced moisture loss. Temperature rise was also a driving force for moisture loss. Uniaxial compressive stress-strain curves for all of the samples were elastoplastic. The curves for uniaxial compression strength and secant modulus plotted against time could be divided into three stages. Sample brittleness increased with time and the brittleness index increased with higher catalyst dosages in the latter part of the curing time. Plastic strength-time curves exhibit allometric scaling. Curing conditions mainly affect the compactness, and then affect the strength. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Optical Properties of Tensilely Strained Ge Nanomembranes
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(6), 407; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8060407 - 06 Jun 2018
Abstract
Group-IV semiconductors, which provide the leading materials platform of micro- electronics, are generally unsuitable for light emitting device applications because of their indirect- bandgap nature. This property currently limits the large-scale integration of electronic and photonic functionalities on Si chips. The introduction of [...] Read more.
Group-IV semiconductors, which provide the leading materials platform of micro- electronics, are generally unsuitable for light emitting device applications because of their indirect- bandgap nature. This property currently limits the large-scale integration of electronic and photonic functionalities on Si chips. The introduction of tensile strain in Ge, which has the effect of lowering the direct conduction-band minimum relative to the indirect valleys, is a promising approach to address this challenge. Here we review recent work focused on the basic science and technology of mechanically stressed Ge nanomembranes, i.e., single-crystal sheets with thicknesses of a few tens of nanometers, which can sustain particularly large strain levels before the onset of plastic deformation. These nanomaterials have been employed to demonstrate large strain-enhanced photoluminescence, population inversion under optical pumping, and the formation of direct-bandgap Ge. Furthermore, Si-based photonic-crystal cavities have been developed that can be combined with these Ge nanomembranes without limiting their mechanical flexibility. These results highlight the potential of strained Ge as a CMOS-compatible laser material, and more in general the promise of nanomembrane strain engineering for novel device technologies. Full article
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