Figure 1: Gold migration. | Nature

Figure 1: Gold migration.

From: How clean is too clean?

Figure 1

A schematic cross-section of two silicon nanowires growing on a silicon substrate in a silicon-containing vapour (of silane, SiH4, and disilane, Si2H6) by means of the vapour–liquid–solid (VLS) method, as used by Hannon et al.1. a, Two liquid-gold droplets are initially of slightly different size, causing a net diffusion flux of gold atoms from the smaller to the larger gold droplet through the Ostwald ripening mechanism along the silicon surface. b, Later, the smaller gold droplet has shrunk away completely, and its silicon nanowire has stopped growing. The implications of this effect for the mass production of silicon nanowires are potentially immense. (Dimensions not to scale; diameter changes exaggerated.)

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