First Year Assessment of Richard Schaeufele, entitle “Synthesis and Characterisation of Inorganic Nanowires and their Assembly into Macroscopic Structures” – In the Seminar Room at 12:00 pm


SiNWs, which are rod-like structures with diameters between 1-100nm and lengths of up to several tenths of micrometers, are an auspicious approach to enhance solar cells, thermoelectric devices and energy storage devices. Their extremely high aspect ratio (classifi ed as 1D material) combined with small scale give them unique properties that are absent in bulk silicon.

For high throughput and low-cost production of SiNWs, bottom up procedures are convenient. The most popular bottom up approach is via metal-catalysed chemical vapour deposition (CVD). By making use of the so-called vapour-liquid-solid (VLS) growth mechanism, crystalline SiNWs can be fabricated.

Although this process offers many advantages, there are a few aspects that need more research. Limited uniformity, inconsistent crystallinity as well as catalyst contamination are issues that still need to be improved.  By solving these challenges significant optimization of SiNW structure and yield can be expected, that thus translate into more efficient energy-managing devices.