Controlled Growth and Structures of Molecular-Scale Silicon Nanowires
Single-crystal silicon nanowires with diameters approaching molecular dimensions were synthesized using gold nanocluster-catalyzed 1D growth. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy studies show that silicon nanowires grown with silane reactant in hydrogen are single crystal with little or no visible amorphous oxide down to diameters as small as 3 nm. Structural characterization of a large number of samples shows that the smallest-diameter nanowires grow primarily along the ?110? direction, whereas larger nanowires grow along the ?111? direction. In addition, cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy was used to address the importance of surface energetics in determining the growth direction of the smallest nanowires. The ability to prepare well-defined molecular-scale single-crystal silicon nanowires opens up new opportunities for both fundamental studies and nanodevice applications.