Fabrication and characterisation of semiconductor nanowires and metal interconnects

Thumbnail Image
Thesis.pdf(22.45 MB)
Full Text E-Thesis
O'Regan, Colm
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University College Cork
Published Version
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
One-dimensional semiconductor nanowires are considered to be promising materials for future nanoelectronic applications. However, before these nanowires can be integrated into such applications, a thorough understanding of their growth behaviour is necessary. In particular, methods that allow the control over nanowire growth are deemed especially important as it is these methods that will enable the control of nanowire dimensions such as length and diameter (high aspect ratios). The production of nanowires with high-aspect ratios is vital in order to take advantage of the unique properties experienced at the nanoscale, thus allowing us to maximise their use in devices. Additionally, the development of low-resistivity interconnects is desirable in order to connect such nanowires in multi-nanowire components. Consequently, this thesis aims to discuss the synthesis and characterisation of germanium (Ge) nanowires and platinum (Pt) interconnects. Particular emphasis is placed on manipulating the nanowire growth kinetics to produce high aspect ratio structures. The discussion of Pt interconnects focuses on the development of low-resistivity devices and the electrical and structural analysis of those devices. Chapter 1 reviews the most critical aspects of Ge nanowire growth which must be understood before they can be integrated into future nanodevices. These features include the synthetic methods employed to grow Ge nanowires, the kinetic and thermodynamic aspects of their growth and nanowire morphology control. Chapter 2 outlines the experimental methods used to synthesise and characterise Ge nanowires as well as the methods used to fabricate and analyse Pt interconnects. Chapter 3 discusses the control of Ge nanowire growth kinetics via the manipulation of the supersaturation of Ge in the Au/Ge binary alloy system. This is accomplished through the use of bi-layer films, which pre-form Au/Ge alloy catalysts before the introduction of the Ge precursor. The growth from these catalysts is then compared with Ge nanowire growth from standard elemental Au seeds. Nanowires grown from pre-formed Au/Ge alloy seeds demonstrate longer lengths and higher growth rates than those grown from standard Au seeds. In-situ TEM heating on the Au/Ge bi-layer films is used to support the growth characteristics observed. Chapter 4 extends the work of chapter 3 by utilising Au/Ag/Ge tri-layer films to enhance the growth rates and lengths of Ge nanowires. These nanowires are grown from Au/Ag/Ge ternary alloy catalysts. Once again, the supersaturation is influenced, only this time it is through the simultaneous manipulation of both the solute concentration and equilibrium concentration of Ge in the Au/Ag/Ge ternary alloy system. The introduction of Ag to the Au/Ge binary alloy lowers the equilibrium concentration, thus increasing the nanowire growth rate and length. Nanowires with uniform diameters were obtained via synthesis from AuxAg1-x alloy nanoparticles. Manifestation of the Gibbs-Thomson effect, resulting from the dependence of the mean nanowire length as a function of diameter, was observed for all of the nanowires grown from the AuxAg1-x nanoparticles. Finally, in-situ TEM heating was used to support the nanowire growth characteristics. Chapter 5 details the fabrication and characterisation of Pt interconnects deposited by electron beam induced deposition of two different precursors. The fabrication is conducted inside a dual beam FIB. The electrical and structural characteristics of interconnects deposited from a standard organometallic precursor and a novel carbon-free precursor are compared. The electrical performance of the carbon-free interconnects is shown to be superior to that of the organometallic devices and this is correlated to the structural composition of both interconnects via in-situ TEM heating and HAADF-STEM analysis. Annealing of the interconnects is carried out under two different atmospheres in order to reduce the electrical resistivity even further. Finally, chapter 6 presents some important conclusions and summarises each of the previous chapters.
Interconnects , Resistivity , Supersaturation , Vapour-liquid-solid , Growth rate , Growth kinetics
O'Regan, C. P. 2013. Fabrication and characterisation of semiconductor nanowires and metal interconnects. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
Link to publisher’s version