Nanowire arrays in multicrystalline silicon thin films on glass: A promising material for research and applications in nanotechnology

Sebastian W. Schmitt, Florian Schechtel, Daniel Amkreutz, Muhammad Bashouti, Sanjay K. Srivastava, Björn Hoffmann, Christel Dieker, Erdmann Spiecker, Bernd Rech, Silke H. Christiansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Silicon nanowires (SiNW) were formed on large grained, electron-beam crystallized silicon (Si) thin films of only ∼6 μm thickness on glass using nanosphere lithography (NSL) in combination with reactive ion etching (RIE). Electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) studies revealed outstanding structural properties of this nanomaterial. It could be shown that SiNWs with entirely predetermined shapes including lengths, diameters and spacings and straight side walls form independently of their crystalline orientation and arrange in ordered arrays on glass. Furthermore, for the first time grain boundaries could be observed in individual, straightly etched SiNWs. After heat treatment an electronic grade surface quality of the SiNWs could be shown by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Integrating sphere measurements show that SiNW patterning of the multicrystalline Si (mc-Si) starting thin film on glass substantially increases absorption and reduces reflection, as being desired for an application in thin film photovoltaics (PV). The multicrystalline SiNWs directly mark a starting point for research not only in PV but also in other areas like nanoelectronics, surface functionalization, and nanomechanics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4050-4054
Number of pages5
JournalNano Letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - 8 Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • EBSD
  • Silicon nanowires
  • TEM
  • XPS
  • absorption
  • e-beam crystallization
  • multicrystalline
  • photovoltaics
  • reactive ion etching
  • silicon thin film on glass

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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