Selective etching of n-type silicon in pn junction structure in hydrofluoric acid and its application in silicon nanowire fabrication
Boron is selectively implanted on the surface of an n-type silicon wafer to form a p-type area surrounded by an n-type area. The wafer is then put into a buffered oxide etch solution. It is found that the n-type area can be selectively etched without illumination, with an etching rate lower than 1 nm min −1 , while the p-type area can be selectively etched under illumination with a much higher etching rate. The possible mechanism of the etching phenomenon is discussed. A simple fabrication process of silicon nanowires is proposed according to the above phenomenon. In this process only traditional micro-electromechanical system technology is used. Dimensions of the fabricated nanowire can be controlled well. A 50 nm wide and 50 nm thick silicon nanowire has been formed using this method.