Special Issue "Nanomaterials Based on IV-Group Semiconductors"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Alessia Irrera
Website
Guest Editor
IPCF- Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Messina, Italy
Interests: the realization of a new class of nanostructured materials and the study of their innovative properties for applications in photonics; energy; biology and sensing
Dr. Maria Miritello
Website
Guest Editor
Istituto Per La Microelettronica E Microsistemi, Catania, Catania, Italy
Interests: photonics; energy; thin film deposition; nanoclusters; visible emitteing sources; rare earths

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The new composites and nanostructures of group IV materials provide a platform for advanced devices for nanoelectronics, photonics and sensors. This Special Issue will focus on aspects of nanotechnology associated with silicon and other group IV semiconductors. Different issues relevant to low-dimensional structures, such as nanowires, nanocrystals and nanopores or nanosheets, are potential topics. Both their fabrication, such as lithography, processing, physical approach, chemical etching, nanoparticle formation, and their application in devices, are subject of interest. In particular, group IV nanostructures implemented in photonic devices, such as detectors, light emitting sources, waveguides, optical modulators and photovoltaic cells, will be encouraged. Another point is the application of group IV nanostructures in the field of biological and chemical sensing and their impact on sensing performances. Moreover, defect characterization, engineering and the impact of crystal quality on the properties of electronic and photonic devices are topics for this issue.

This Special Issue of Nanomaterials will attempt to cover the most recent advances in group IV nanostructures, from synthesis and characterization to devices for photonics, nanoelectronics and sensors applications.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Fabrication and characterization of IV-group nanostructures, nanodevices and nanosensors
  • Nanowires, Nanorods and Nanoclusters and Nanosheets synthesis and characterization
  • Carrier transport in nanodevices
  • Optoelectronic materials and nanodevices using Si-based heterostructures and nanostructures;
  • Defects characterization and engineering
  • Integration of photonics with Si CMOS technology
  • Strain band-gap engineering and carrier transport in CMOS
  • Si-based waveguide technology and nanodevice­s
  • Light emitting devices, detectors, waveguides, optical modulators
  • Luminescence in IV group nanostructures-based materials
  • Rare earth doping of Si nanostructures
  • Photovoltaic cells
  • Integrated waveguide sensing
  • Nanomaterials for life science applications
  • Nanoscale biosensors

Dr. Alessia Irrera
Dr. Maria Miritello
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nanomaterials is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
CMOS-Compatible and Low-Cost Thin Film MACE Approach for Light-Emitting Si NWs Fabrication
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 966; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050966 - 18 May 2020
Abstract
Silicon nanowires (Si NWs) are emerging as an innovative building block in several fields, such as microelectronics, energetics, photonics, and sensing. The interest in Si NWs is related to the high surface to volume ratio and the simpler coupling with the industrial flat [...] Read more.
Silicon nanowires (Si NWs) are emerging as an innovative building block in several fields, such as microelectronics, energetics, photonics, and sensing. The interest in Si NWs is related to the high surface to volume ratio and the simpler coupling with the industrial flat architecture. In particular, Si NWs emerge as a very promising material to couple the light to silicon. However, with the standard synthesis methods, the realization of quantum-confined Si NWs is very complex and often requires expensive equipment. Metal-Assisted Chemical Etching (MACE) is gaining more and more attention as a novel approach able to guarantee high-quality Si NWs and high density with a cost-effective approach. Our group has recently modified the traditional MACE approach through the use of thin metal films, obtaining a strong control on the optical and structural properties of the Si NWs as a function of the etching process. This method is Complementary Metal-Oxide-Semiconductors (CMOS)-technology compatible, low-cost, and permits us to obtain a high density, and room temperature light-emitting Si NWs due to the quantum confinement effect. A strong control on the Si NWs characteristics may pave the way to a real industrial transfer of this fabrication methodology for both microelectronics and optoelectronics applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials Based on IV-Group Semiconductors)
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Open AccessArticle
Formation of Thin NiGe Films by Magnetron Sputtering and Flash Lamp Annealing
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(4), 648; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10040648 - 31 Mar 2020
Abstract
The nickel monogermanide (NiGe) phase is known for its electrical properties such as low ohmic and low contact resistance in group-IV-based electronics. In this work, thin films of nickel germanides (Ni–Ge) were formed by magnetron sputtering followed by flash lamp annealing (FLA). The [...] Read more.
The nickel monogermanide (NiGe) phase is known for its electrical properties such as low ohmic and low contact resistance in group-IV-based electronics. In this work, thin films of nickel germanides (Ni–Ge) were formed by magnetron sputtering followed by flash lamp annealing (FLA). The formation of NiGe was investigated on three types of substrates: on amorphous (a-Ge) as well as polycrystalline Ge (poly-Ge) and on monocrystalline (100)-Ge (c-Ge) wafers. Substrate and NiGe structure characterization was performed by Raman, TEM, and XRD analyses. Hall Effect and four-point-probe measurements were used to characterize the films electrically. NiGe layers were successfully formed on different Ge substrates using 3-ms FLA. Electrical as well as XRD and TEM measurements are revealing the formation of Ni-rich hexagonal and cubic phases at lower temperatures accompanied by the formation of the low-resistivity orthorhombic NiGe phase. At higher annealing temperatures, Ni-rich phases are transforming into NiGe, as long as the supply of Ge is ensured. NiGe layer formation on a-Ge is accompanied by metal-induced crystallization and its elevated electrical resistivity compared with that of poly-Ge and c-Ge substrates. Specific resistivities for 30 nm Ni on Ge were determined to be 13.5 μΩ·cm for poly-Ge, 14.6 μΩ·cm for c-Ge, and 20.1 μΩ·cm for a-Ge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials Based on IV-Group Semiconductors)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Gold Nanoparticles Synthesis Using Stainless Steel as Solid Reductant: A Critical Overview
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(4), 622; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10040622 - 27 Mar 2020
Abstract
Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) were produced using stainless steel as a solid reductant to assist the synthesis of metal NPs, using HAuCl4 as a precursor. This method is very easy, quick, and cost-effective, allowing the synthesis of highly stable NPs without additional capping [...] Read more.
Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) were produced using stainless steel as a solid reductant to assist the synthesis of metal NPs, using HAuCl4 as a precursor. This method is very easy, quick, and cost-effective, allowing the synthesis of highly stable NPs without additional capping agents. However, the reaction mechanism is still under debate. In order to contribute to the investigation of the synthesis of AuNPs using stainless steel, different experimental conditions were tested. Cl concentration, pH of the precursor solution, as well as stainless steel composition were systematically changed. The syntheses were performed recording the open circuit potential to potentiometrically explore the electrochemical properties of the system, under operando conditions. Spectroscopic and morphological characterizations were carried out along with potentiometric monitoring, aiming at correlating the synthesis parameters with the AuNPs characteristics. As a result, an overview of the process features, and of its most reasonable mechanism were obtained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials Based on IV-Group Semiconductors)
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Open AccessArticle
Bright Single-Photon Emitting Diodes Based on the Silicon-Vacancy Center in AlN/Diamond Heterostructures
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(2), 361; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10020361 - 19 Feb 2020
Abstract
Practical implementation of many quantum information and sensing technologies relies on the ability to efficiently generate and manipulate single-photon photons under ambient conditions. Color centers in diamond, such as the silicon-vacancy (SiV) center, have recently emerged as extremely attractive single-photon emitters for room [...] Read more.
Practical implementation of many quantum information and sensing technologies relies on the ability to efficiently generate and manipulate single-photon photons under ambient conditions. Color centers in diamond, such as the silicon-vacancy (SiV) center, have recently emerged as extremely attractive single-photon emitters for room temperature applications. However, diamond is a material at the interface between insulators and semiconductors. Therefore, it is extremely difficult to excite color centers electrically and consequently develop bright and efficient electrically driven single-photon sources. Here, using a comprehensive theoretical approach, we propose and numerically demonstrate a concept of a single-photon emitting diode (SPED) based on a SiV center in a nanoscale AlN/diamond heterojunction device. We find that in spite of the high potential barrier for electrons in AlN at the AlN/diamond heterojunction, under forward bias, electrons can be efficiently injected from AlN into the i-type diamond region of the n-AlN/i-diamond/p-diamond heterostructure, which ensures bright single-photon electroluminescence (SPEL) of the SiV center located in the i-type diamond region. The maximum SPEL rate is more than five times higher than what can be achieved in SPEDs based on diamond p-i-n diodes. Despite the high density of defects at the AlN/diamond interface, the SPEL rate can reach about 4 Mcps, which coincides with the limit imposed by the quantum efficiency and the lifetime of the shelving state of the SiV center. These findings provide new insights into the development of bright room-temperature electrically driven single-photon sources for quantum information technologies and, we believe, stimulate further research in this area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials Based on IV-Group Semiconductors)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Fractal Silver Dendrites as 3D SERS Platform for Highly Sensitive Detection of Biomolecules in Hydration Conditions
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(11), 1630; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9111630 - 16 Nov 2019
Abstract
In this paper, we report on the realization of a highly sensitive and low cost 3D surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) platform. The structural features of the Ag dendrite network that characterize the SERS material were exploited, attesting a remarked self-similarity and scale invariance [...] Read more.
In this paper, we report on the realization of a highly sensitive and low cost 3D surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) platform. The structural features of the Ag dendrite network that characterize the SERS material were exploited, attesting a remarked self-similarity and scale invariance over a broad range of length scales that are typical of fractal systems. Additional structural and optical investigations confirmed the purity of the metal network, which was characterized by low oxygen contamination and by broad optical resonances introduced by the fractal behavior. The SERS performances of the 3D fractal Ag dendrites were tested for the detection of lysozyme as probe molecule, attesting an enhancement factor of ~2.4 × 106. Experimental results assessed the dendrite material as a suitable SERS detection platform for biomolecules investigations in hydration conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials Based on IV-Group Semiconductors)
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Open AccessArticle
Electrodeposition of Nanoparticles and Continuous Film of CdSe on n-Si (100)
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(10), 1504; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9101504 - 22 Oct 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
CdSe electrodeposition on n-Si (100) substrate was investigated in sulfuric acid solution. The behaviour and the deposition of the precursors (Cd and Se) were studied separately at first. Then, we explored both the alternated deposition, one layer by one, as well as the [...] Read more.
CdSe electrodeposition on n-Si (100) substrate was investigated in sulfuric acid solution. The behaviour and the deposition of the precursors (Cd and Se) were studied separately at first. Then, we explored both the alternated deposition, one layer by one, as well as the simultaneous co-deposition of the two elements to form the CdSe semiconductor. Varying the deposition conditions, we were able to obtain nanoparticles, or a thin film, on the surface of the electrode. The samples were then characterised microscopically and spectroscopically with SEM, XRD and XPS. Finally, we evaluated the induced photoemission of the deposit for the application in optoelectronics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials Based on IV-Group Semiconductors)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of TiO2-ZnO-MgO Mixed Oxide on Microbial Growth and Toxicity against Artemia salina
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 992; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9070992 - 10 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Mixed oxide nanoparticles (MONs, TiO2–ZnO–MgO) obtained by the sol-gel method were characterized by transmission electron microscopy, (TEM, HRTEM, and SAED) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA/DTGA–DTA). Furthermore, the effect of MONs on microbial growth (growth profiling curve, lethal and sublethal effect) of Escherichia [...] Read more.
Mixed oxide nanoparticles (MONs, TiO2–ZnO–MgO) obtained by the sol-gel method were characterized by transmission electron microscopy, (TEM, HRTEM, and SAED) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA/DTGA–DTA). Furthermore, the effect of MONs on microbial growth (growth profiling curve, lethal and sublethal effect) of Escherichia coli, Salmonella paratyphi, Staphylococcus aureus and Listeria monocytogenes, as well as the toxicity against Artemia salina by the lethal concentration test (LC50) were evaluated. MONs exhibited a near-spherical in shape, polycrystalline structure and mean sizes from 17 to 23 nm. The thermal analysis revealed that the anatase phase of MONs is completed around 480–500 °C. The normal growth of all bacteria tested is affected by the MONs presence compared with the control group. MONs also exhibited a reduction on the plate count from 0.58 to 2.10 log CFU/mL with a sublethal cell injury from 17 to 98%. No significant toxicity within 24 h was observed on A. salina. A bacteriostatic effect of MONs on bacteria was evidenced, which was strongly influenced by the type of bacteria, as well as no toxic effects (LC50 >1000 mg/L; TiO2–ZnO (5%)–MgO (5%)) on A. salina were detected. This study demonstrates the potential of MONs for industrial applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials Based on IV-Group Semiconductors)
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Open AccessArticle
Study on the Physico-Chemical Properties of the Si Nanowires Surface
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(6), 818; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9060818 - 30 May 2019
Abstract
Silicon nanowires (Si-NWs) have been extensively studied for their numerous applications in nano-electronics. The most common method for their synthesis is the vapor–liquid–solid growth, using gold as catalyst. After the growth, the metal remains on the Si-NW tip, representing an important issue, because [...] Read more.
Silicon nanowires (Si-NWs) have been extensively studied for their numerous applications in nano-electronics. The most common method for their synthesis is the vapor–liquid–solid growth, using gold as catalyst. After the growth, the metal remains on the Si-NW tip, representing an important issue, because Au creates deep traps in the Si band gap that deteriorate the device performance. The methods proposed so far to remove Au offer low efficiency, strongly oxidize the Si-NW sidewalls, or produce structural damage. A physical and chemical characterization of the as-grown Si-NWs is presented. A thin shell covering the Au tip and acting as a barrier is found. The chemical composition of this layer is investigated through high resolution transmission electron microscopy (TEM) coupled with chemical analysis; its formation mechanism is discussed in terms of atomic interdiffusion phenomena, driven by the heating/cooling processes taking place inside the eutectic-Si-NW system. Based on the knowledge acquired, a new efficient etching procedure is developed. The characterization after the chemical etching is also performed to monitor the removal process and the Si-NWs morphological characteristics, demonstrating the efficiency of the proposed method and the absence of modifications in the nanostructure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials Based on IV-Group Semiconductors)
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