Controlled thinning and surface smoothening of silicon nanopillars
Journal article, 2011

A convenient method has been developed to thin electron beam fabricated silicon nanopillars under controlled surface manipulation by transforming the surface of the pillars to an oxide shell layer followed by the growth of sacrificial ammonium silicon fluoride coating. The results show the formation of an oxide shell and a silicon core without significantly changing the original length and shape of the pillars. The oxide shell layer thickness can be controlled from a few nanometers up to a few hundred nanometers. While downsizing in diameter, smooth Si pillar surfaces of less than 10 nm roughness within 2 µm were produced after exposure to vapors of HF and HNO3 mixture as evidenced by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis. The attempt to expose for long durations leads to the growth of a thick oxide whose strain effect on pillars can be assessed by coupled LO–TO vibrational modes of Si–O bonds. Photoluminescence (PL) of the pillar structures which have been downsized exhibits visible and infrared emissions, which are attributable to microscopic pillars and to the confinement of excited carriers in the Si core, respectively. The formation of smooth core–shell structures while reducing the diameter of the Si pillars has a potential in fabricating nanoscale electronic devices and functional components.


magnetic and optical


Nanoscale science and low-D systems

interfaces and thin films

Condensed matter


S. Kalem

Turkiye Bilimsel ve Teknolojik Arastirma Kurumu

P. Werner

Max Planck Society

Bengt Nilsson

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Nanofabrication Laboratory

V. Talalaev

Max Planck Society

Mats Hagberg

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Nanofabrication Laboratory

Örjan Arthursson

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Nanofabrication Laboratory

Ulf Södervall

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Nanofabrication Laboratory


0957-4484 (ISSN) 1361-6528 (eISSN)

Vol. 20 44 445303- 445303

Areas of Advance

Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

Subject Categories

Condensed Matter Physics



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