Polycrystalline Si thin films and single NiSi crystalline nanowires were made by the metal induced growth method. The different growth mechanisms for poly-Si and nanowires lie in the metal silicide formation. Poly-Si growth is based on metal disilicide formation and the growth of nanowires depends on metal monosilicide formation. The metal silicide formation depends on catalyst species and sputtering power. Following catalyst coating, Si was deposited in a DC magnetron sputtering system to grow poly-Si or nanowires. Several metals (Ni, Co, Co/Ni and Pd) were used as catalysts to confirm the nanowire growth mechanism as well as to fabricate solar cells. Poly-Si thin films were about 5 μm thick with up to 1μm crystallite size. Nanowires were up to 10 μm long with about 50 nm diameter.
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This work was partially funded by the National Science Foundation, ECS-0324893.
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Kim, J., Ji, C. & Anderson, W.A. Metal Induced Growth of Poly-Si Solar Cells and Silicide Nanowires by use of Multiple Catalyst Layers. MRS Online Proceedings Library 862, 215 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-862-A21.5