DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5348.208 ISSN:

A Laser Ablation Method for the Synthesis of Crystalline Semiconductor Nanowires

Alfredo M. Morales, Charles M. Lieber
  • Multidisciplinary

A method combining laser ablation cluster formation and vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) growth was developed for the synthesis of semiconductor nanowires. In this process, laser ablation was used to prepare nanometer-diameter catalyst clusters that define the size of wires produced by VLS growth. This approach was used to prepare bulk quantities of uniform single-crystal silicon and germanium nanowires with diameters of 6 to 20 and 3 to 9 nanometers, respectively, and lengths ranging from 1 to 30 micrometers. Studies carried out with different conditions and catalyst materials confirmed the central details of the growth mechanism and suggest that well-established phase diagrams can be used to predict rationally catalyst materials and growth conditions for the preparation of nanowires.

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