Growth of size-tunable periodic Ni silicide nanodot arrays on silicon substrates

S. L. Cheng, S. W. Lu, S. L. Wong, H. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The fabrications of size-tunable periodic arrays of nickel metal and silicide nanodots on (0 0 1)Si substrates using polystyrene (PS) nanosphere lithography (NSL) and heat treatments have been investigated. The growth of epitaxial NiSi 2 was found to be more favorable for the Ni metal nanodot arrays. The effect becomes more pronounced with a decrease in the size of the Ni nanodots. The sizes of the epitaxial NiSi 2 nanodots were tuned from 38 to 110 nm by varying the diameter of the PS spheres and heat treatment conditions. These epitaxial NiSi 2 nanodots formed on (0 0 1)Si were found to be heavily faceted and the faceted structures were more prone to form at higher temperatures. Based on TEM, HRTEM and SAED analysis, the faceted NiSi 2 nanodots were identified to be inverse pyramids in shape. Compared with the NiSi 2 nanodot arrays formed using single-layer PS sphere masks, the epitaxial NiSi 2 nanodot arrays formed from the double-layer PS sphere templates exhibit larger interparticle spacings and smaller particle sizes. Since the nanoparticle sizes, shapes and interparticle spacings can be adjusted by tuning the diameter of the PS spheres, stacking conditions, and heat treatment conditions, the PS NSL technique promises to be an effective patterning method for growth of other nanostructures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2071-2077
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Surface Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - 15 Dec 2006


  • Epitaxy
  • Nanodots
  • Nanosphere lithography
  • Nickel silicide
  • Self-assembly
  • Thin films


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