The Formation of Silicon Nanoparticles on Silicon-on-insulator Substrate by Thermal Anneal
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In this study, we investigated the formation of silicon nanoparticles on a silicon-on-insulator (SOI) substrate that were created with a simple thermal treatment using temperatures ranging from 600oC to 900oC under atmospheric pressure in an inert gas (Ar). We studied the nanoparticle formation process versus the temperature of the thermal anneal, the thickness of the top silicon layer and we determined the variation of the particle size distribution with these parameters. The post-anneal substrate morphology is studied using ex situ atomic force microscopy (AFM). It was found that nanoparticle size increases with an increase in both the temperature and thickness of the top silicon layer. From a technological point of view, this study opens up a simpler way to synthesize silicon nanoparticles on an insulator.