Nano Research

Article Title

On-the-fly dopant redistribution in a silicon nanowire p–n junction


nanowire degradation, Joule heating, dopant redistribution, scanning capacitance microscopy


ABSTRACT Dopant redistribution in a silicon nanowire (SiNW) p–n junction is found to occur owing to self-heating effects. A SiNW is doped to form back-to-back diodes and is thermally isolated by an oxide layer on its bottom side and by air on the other sides. When a high level of current flows, the inner body temperature is found to increase enough to cause dopant diffusion and even to reach the silicon melting point due to Joule heating. This experimentally observed electrothermal behavior is also validated through numerical simulation. The conductivity change is dependent on the total power density and the change becomes permanent once the device suffers self-heating beyond a threshold point. Finally, the dopant redistribution is directly visualized using scanning capacitance microscopy for the first time.

Graphical Abstract


Tsinghua University Press