In this work we characterize the thermal conductivity properties of nanoprous ‘black silicon’ (bSi). We fabricate the nanoporous bSi using the metal assisted chemical etching (MACE) process utilizing silver (Ag) metal as the etch catalyst. The MACE process steps include (i) electroless deposition of Ag nanoparticles on the Si surface using silver nitrate (AgNO3) and hydrofluoric acid (HF), and (ii) a wet etch in a solution of HF and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). The resulting porosity of bSi is dependent on the ratio of the concentration of HF to (HF + H2O2); the ratio is denoted as rho (ρ). We find that as etch time of bSi increases the thermal conductivity of Si increases as well. We also analyze the absorption of the bSi samples by measuring the transmission and reflection using IR spectroscopy. This study enables improved understanding of nanoporous bSi surfaces and how they affect the solar cell performance due to the porous structures’ thermal properties.
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