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Production of nano-wires on semiconductor surfaces by ion bombardment

Johan B. Malherbe ,  Herbert W. Kunert 

University of Pretoria, Department of Physics, University str., Pretoria 0084, South Africa


Low energy (typically in the keV regime) ion bombardment of some semiconductor materials can lead to the development of regularly spaced ripples on the surfaces, which with suitable doping procedures can be employed as nano-wires. Although these ripples are reminiscent of those induced by the action of wind on sand dunes or by water currents on the seabed, the mechanisms are different. The formation of the bombardment-induced ripples depends primarily on the material substrate. The average distance between the ripples, i.e. ripple wavelength is also a function of ions species, ion energy, angle of incidence, ion areaic dose and substrate temperature. In this paper, some of the reported results on the ripples produced by noble gas, oxygen and nitrogen ion bombardment on selected semiconductor materials will be tested against Bradley-Harper theory. It will be shown that some of the ripple properties can be explained by this analytic theory. For the others, one will have to resort to the more advances theories, which can only be solved numerically.


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Related papers

Presentation: poster at E-MRS Fall Meeting 2003, Symposium G, by Johan B. Malherbe
See On-line Journal of E-MRS Fall Meeting 2003

Submitted: 2003-04-15 17:06
Revised:   2009-06-08 12:55