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Dopant properties of silicon nanowires investigated​
View : 6779 Date : 2012-11-28 Writer : ed_news

Professor Chang Kee Joo

Professor Kee Joo Chang’s research team from the Department of Physics at KAIST has successfully unearthed the properties of boron and phosphorous dopants in silicon nanowires, a material expected to be used in next generation semiconductors. The research team was the first in the world to investigate the movement of boron and phosphorous (impurities or ‘dopants’ added for electrical flow) in oxidized silicon nanowires and study the mechanism behind its deactivation.

It is nearly impossible to develop a silicon based semiconductor thinner than 10nm, even using the most advanced modern technology. However, the thickness of silicon nanowires are within the nano level and hence, allows a higher degree of integration in semiconductors.

For silicon nanowires to carry electricity, small amounts of boron and phosphorous need to be added (‘doping’ process). Compared to silicon, nanowires are harder to create due to the difficulties in the doping process as well as the control of electrical conduction properties.

Professor Chang’s research team improved upon the existing simple model by applying revolutionary quantum simulation theory to create a realistic core-shell atomic model. This research successfully investigated the cause of the escape of boron dopants from the silicon core during oxidation. It was also found that although phosphorous dopants do not escape as oxides, they form electrically deactivated pairs which decreases the efficiency. These phenomena were attributed to the film shape of the nano-wires, which increases the relative surface area compared to a same volume of silicon.

The research results were published in the online September edition of the world renowned Nano Letters.

Figure: The longitudinal section diagram of the Silicon/oxide core-shell model

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