18 May 2009 FIB generated antimony nanowires as chemical sensors
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Sb nanowires with a homogeneous distribution of diameters of about 25 nm and length up to several microns are synthesized by a FIB induced self-assembling process. In contrast to a broad class of techniques for nanowire growth, neither heating of the sample nor any additional materials source is required, thereby being compatible with on-chip microelectronics. We propose a synthesis model similar to the well known vapor-liquid-solid mechanism with Ga acting as catalyst. The vapour-liquid-solid mechanism deals with the fact that a catalytic metal particle on the sample surface forms a liquid alloy cluster if the ambient temperature is high enough and serves as the preferential site for adsorption of reactant. It is supposed that supersaturation is the driving force for nucleation of seeds at the interface between the alloy cluster and the substrate surface giving rise to a highly anisotropic growth of nanostructures. We assume that FIB processing produces mobile Ga species on the surface which rapidly agglomerate forming catalytic nanoclusters. Sputtered Sb diffuses on the surface and acts as a quasi-vapor phase source. When the solved Sb concentration exceeds saturation, nucleation sites will be formed which initiate the precipitation of the Sb. We integrated such synthesized NWs in CMOS compatible resitivity type gas sensors.
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A. Lugstein, A. Avdic, E. Bertagnolli, "FIB generated antimony nanowires as chemical sensors", Proc. SPIE 7362, Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS IV, 73620Q (18 May 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.822150; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.822150

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