Self-limiting oxidation for fabricating sub-5 nm silicon nanowires

H. I. Liu, D. K. Biegelsen, F. A. Ponce, N. M. Johnson, R. F.W. Pease

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

277 Scopus citations


The ability to control structural dimensions below 5 nm is essential for a systematic study of the optical and electrical properties of Si nanostructures. A combination of electron beam lithography, NF3 reactive ion etching, and dry thermal oxidation has been successfully implemented to yield 2-nm-wide Si nanowires with aspect ratio of more than 100 to 1. With a sideview transmission electron microscopy technique, the oxidation progression of Si nanowires was characterized over a range of temperature from 800 to 1200°C. A previously reported self-limiting oxidation phenomenon was found to occur only for oxidation temperatures below 950°C. A preliminary model suggests that increase in the activation energy of oxidant diffusivity in a highly stressed oxide may be the main mechanism for slowing down the oxidation rate in the self-limiting regime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1383-1385
Number of pages3
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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