"Large-Area Free-Standing Ultrathin Single-Crystal Silicon as Processable Materials"

Shuang Wang : Benjamin D. Weil, Yanbin Li, Ken Xingze Wang, Erik Garnett, Shanhui Fan, and Yi Cui; Nano Letters, 07/22/13.

Additional Authors: Benjamin D. Weil, Yanbin Li, Ken Xingze Wang, Erik Garnett, Shanhui Fan, and Yi Cui

Abstract:

Silicon has been driving the great success of semiconductor industry, and emerging forms of silicon have generated new opportunities in electronics, biotechnology, and energy applications. Here we demonstrate large-area free-standing ultrathin single-crystalline Si at the wafer scale as new Si materials with processability. We fabricated them by KOH etching of the Si wafer and show their uniform thickness from 10 to sub-2 μm. These ultrathin Si exhibits excellent mechanical flexibility and bendability more than those with 20–30 μm thickness in previous study. Unexpectedly, these ultrathin Si materials can be cut with scissors like a piece of paper, and they are robust during various regular fabrication processings including tweezer handling, spin coating, patterning, doping, wet and dry etching, annealing, and metal deposition. We demonstrate the fabrication of planar and double-sided nanocone solar cells and highlight that the processability on both sides of surface together with the interesting property of these free-standing ultrathin Si materials opens up exciting opportunities to generate novel functional devices different from the existing approaches.