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Metal assisted chemical etching of silicon in the gas phase: a nanofabrication platform for X-ray optics

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Abstract

High aspect ratio nanostructuring requires high precision pattern transfer with highly directional etching. In this work, we demonstrate the fabrication of structures with ultra-high aspect ratios (up to 10 000 : 1) in the nanoscale regime (down to 10 nm) by platinum assisted chemical etching of silicon in the gas phase. The etching gas is created by a vapour of water diluted hydrofluoric acid and a continuous air flow, which works both as an oxidizer and as a gas carrier for reactive species. The high reactivity of platinum as a catalyst and the formation of platinum silicide to improve the stability of the catalyst pattern allow a controlled etching. The method has been successfully applied to produce straight nanowires with section size in the range of 10–100 nm and length of hundreds of micrometres, and X-ray optical elements with feature sizes down to 10 nm and etching depth in the range of tens of micrometres. This work opens the possibility of a low cost etching method for stiction-sensitive nanostructures and a large range of applications where silicon high aspect ratio nanostructures and high precision of pattern transfer are required.

Graphical abstract: Metal assisted chemical etching of silicon in the gas phase: a nanofabrication platform for X-ray optics

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
11 Nov 2019
Accepted
17 Feb 2020
First published
17 Feb 2020

This article is Open Access

Nanoscale Horiz., 2020, Advance Article
Article type
Communication

Metal assisted chemical etching of silicon in the gas phase: a nanofabrication platform for X-ray optics

L. Romano, M. Kagias, J. Vila-Comamala, K. Jefimovs, L. Tseng, V. A. Guzenko and M. Stampanoni, Nanoscale Horiz., 2020, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9NH00709A

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