Scientists at Lomonosov Moscow State University have developed a more environmentally friendly method for making silicon nanowires.
Silicon nanowires are used in a variety of technologies, including the making of sensors, electronics, solar panels and more. The nanowires are also useful in medicine, as their structures are biodegradable, making them safe for use inside the human body.
Currently, scientists use highly toxic hydrofluoric acid for the production of silicon nanowires. But researchers at MSU have found a way to substitute ammonium fluoride for the toxic acid.
Using metal nanoparticles, scientists are able to etch nanostructures on a silicon wafer, creating nanowires ranging in size from 50 to 200 nanometers in diameter. Gaps between each nanowire can range from 100 to 500 nanometers. The application of ammonium fluoride aids in the removal of the silver nanoparticles.
Researchers described the new and improved production method in the journal Nanoscale Research Letters.
“We’ve studied optical properties of the nanowires we got and proved that they don’t differ much from nanowires, obtained by conventional method,” researcher Kirill Gonchar said in a news release.
Filed Under: Materials • advanced