|Title||Control of the Pore Texture in Nanoporous Silicon via Chemical Dissolution|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2015|
|Authors||Secret E, Wu C-C, Chaix A, Galarneau A, Gonzalez P, Cot D, Sailor MJ, Jestin J, Zanotti J-M, Cunin F, Coasne BA|
|Pagination||8121 - 8128|
The surface and textural properties of porous silicon (pSi) control many of its physical properties essential to its performance in key applications such as optoelectronics, energy storage, luminescence, sensing, and drug delivery. Here, we combine experimental and theoretical tools to demonstrate that the surface roughness at the nanometer scale of pSi can be tuned in a controlled fashion using partial thermal oxidation followed by removal of the resulting silicon oxide layer with hydrofluoric acid (HF) solution. Such a process is shown to smooth the pSi surface by means of nitrogen adsorption, electron microscopy, and small-angle X-ray and neutron scattering. Statistical mechanics Monte Carlo simulations, which are consistent with the experimental data, support the interpretation that the pore surface is initially rough and that the oxidation/oxide removal procedure diminishes the surface roughness while increasing the pore diameter. As a specific example considered in this work, the initial roughness ξ ∼ 3.2 nm of pSi pores having a diameter of 7.6 nm can be decreased to 1.0 nm following the simple procedure above. This study allows envisioning the design of pSi samples with optimal surface properties toward a specific process.