A thin discontinuous layer of metal such as Au, Pt, or Au/Pd is deposited on a silicon surface. The surface is then etched in a solution including HF and an oxidant for a brief period, as little as a couple seconds to one hour. A preferred oxidant is H2O2. Morphology and light emitting properties of porous silicon can be selectively controlled as a function of the type of metal deposited, Si doping type, silicon doping level, and/or etch time. Electrical assistance is unnecessary during the chemical etching of the invention, which may be conducted in the presence or absence of illumination.
Original languageEnglish (US)
U.S. patent number6790785
StatePublished - Sep 14 2004


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