Percolating silicon nanowire networks with highly reproducible electrical properties

Pauline Serre1, Massimo Mongillo2, Priyanka Periwal1, Thierry Baron1 and Céline Ternon1,3  .

Nanotechnology. 2015 ;26(1):015201.

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1 Univ. Grenoble Alpes, LTM, F-38000 Grenoble, France; CNRS, LTM, F-38000 Grenoble, France
2 Univ. Grenoble Alpes, IMEP-LAHC, F-38000 Grenoble, France; CNRS, IMEP-LAHC, F-38000 Grenoble, France
3 Univ. Grenoble Alpes, LMGP, F-38000 Grenoble, France; CNRS, LMGP, F-38000 Grenoble, France. 


Here, we report the morphological and electrical properties of self-assembled silicon nanowires networks, also called silicon nanonets. At the macroscopic scale, the nanonets involve several millions of nanowires. So, the observed properties should result from large scale statistical averaging, minimizing thus the discrepancies that occur from one nanowire to another. Using a standard filtration procedure, the so-obtained silicon nanonets are highly reproducible in terms of their morphology, with a silicon nanowire density precisely controlled during the nanonet elaboration. In contrast to individual Si nanowires, the electrical properties of silicon nanonets are highly consistent, as demonstrated here by the similar electrical properties obtained in hundreds of Si nanonet-based devices. The evolution of the silicon nanonet conductance with silicon nanowire density demonstrates that silicon nanonets behave like standard percolating media despite the presence of numerous nanowire-nanowire intersecting junctions into the nanonets and the native oxide shell surrounding the silicon nanowires. Moreover, when silicon oxidation is prevented or controlled, the electrical properties of silicon nanonets are stable over many months. As a consequence, silicon nanowire-based nanonets constitute a promising flexible material with stable and reproducible electrical properties at the macroscopic scale while being composed of nanoscale components, which confirms the silicon nanonet potential for a wide range of applications including flexible electronic, sensing and photovoltaic applications.

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Figure Legend: Electrical conduction is possible through silicon nanonets!

Si nanonets are random networks composed of silicon nanowires. This easy to process material can be integrated into long channel devices that exhibit highly reproducible electrical properties.

Percolating silicon nanowire networks with highly reproducible electrical properties. Advances In Engineering


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