Silicon nanowires (Si NWs) were grown from Si wafer upon thermal annealing in the presence of catalytic gold layer. The Si substrate coated with 100 nm thick Au sputtered layer was thermally annealed at 1000 °C for 60 min in argon and hydrogen atmosphere at 8 kPa. The influence of argon and hydrogen atmospheres on the growth of Si NWs was investigated. It was found that by using the hydrogen atmosphere we were able to grow Si NWs, while the growth in argon atmosphere was sporadic. The catalytic layer morphology and composition were examined using atomic force microscopy and laser desorption-ionization time of flight mass spectrometry, while nanowire structure was observed through scanning electron microscope and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy.Keywords: Nanowires, Silicon, Gold, Eutectics, Surface processes.
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