Metal assisted chemical etching for high aspect ratio nanostructures: A review of characteristics and applications in photovoltaics

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Metal assisted chemical etching (MacEtch) is a recently developed anisotropic wet etching method that is capable of producing high aspect ratio semiconductor nanostructures from patterned metal film. In this review article, we highlight the characteristics of MacEtch of silicon (Si) including controllability of the produced sidewall roughness, the inherent high aspect ratio, the weak crystal orientation dependence, impurity doping and solution concentration dependent porosity, as well as the applicability of MacEtch to non-Si based semiconductor materials including III-V compound semiconductors. Also reviewed are applications of MacEtch produced high aspect ratio Si nanostructures in photovoltaics, where the p-n junction can be in the planar Si tray, core-shell, or axial geometry, with nanowire, micropillar, or hole arrays serving as light trapping or carrier collection structures. The prospect of using MacEtch to improve the cost and efficiency of photovoltaic cells is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-81
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Opinion in Solid State and Materials Science
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2012

Keywords

  • Etching
  • High aspect ratio
  • Nanowire
  • Solar cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)

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