Self-diffusion experiments in single crystalline isotopically controlled silicon nanowires with diameters of 70 and 400 nm at 850 and 1000°C are reported. The isotope structures were first epitaxially grown on top of silicon substrate wafers. Nanowires were subsequently fabricated using a nanosphere lithography process in combination with inductively coupled plasma dry reactive ion etching. Three-dimensional profiling of the nanosized structure before and after diffusion annealing was performed by means of atom probe tomography (APT). Self-diffusion profiles obtained from APT analyses are accurately described by Fick's law for self-diffusion. Data obtained for silicon self-diffusion in nanowires are equal to the results reported for bulk silicon crystals, i.e., finite size effects and high surface-to-volume ratios do not significantly affect silicon self-diffusion. This shows that the properties of native point defects determined from self-diffusion in bulk crystals also hold for nanosized silicon structures with diameters down to 70 nm.

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