Silicon oxide nanowires: Facile and controlled large area fabrication of vertically oriented silicon oxide nanowires for photoluminescence and sensor applications

Taiwo R. Alabi, Dajun Yuan, David Bucknall, Suman Das

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


We describe a technique for the fabrication of dense and patterned arrays of aligned silicon oxide nanowires for applications in surface modification, optoelectronic, and electromechanical based devices. Conventional techniques for the fabrication of silicon oxide nanowires based on the vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) chemical vapor deposition (CVD) processes involve the use of high temperatures and catalysts. We demonstrate a technique that extends the use of a plasma thermal reactive ion etching for the fabrication of aligned silicon oxide nanowires with aspect ratios extending up to 20 and lengths exceeding 1 mu m. The process incorporates phase separated PS-b-P4VP block copolymer loaded with an iron salt. The iron salt preferentially segregates into the P4VP layer and during an O-2 etch is not removed but forms a hexagonally packed array on the silicon oxide substrate. Further etching with CHF3/O-2 gas mixture over time can generate nanodots, to nanopillars, and then nanowires of silicon oxide. The photoluminescence property of the as-fabricated nanowire arrays as well as the parasitic ferromagnetic effect from the iron oxide-tipped section of the wires resulting in coalescence under an scanning electron microscope (SEM) are demonstrated. This technique is simpler compared to existing VLS fabrication approaches and can be used for the direct fabrication of patterned arrays of nanowires when a laser interference ablation step is incorporated into the fabrication procedure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8932-8938
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number18
Early online date5 Aug 2013
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sep 2013


  • silicon oxide nanowires
  • nanofabrication
  • reactive ion etching
  • photoluminescence
  • electromechanical sensor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)

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