Shape-controlled nanopores in single crystals

TitleShape-controlled nanopores in single crystals
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsDrozdov, M, Kauffmann, Y, Carter, WCraig, Kaplan, WD
Date Published2010/11/26/

Nanometer length-scale holes (nanopores) are often formed in amorphous materials for fundamental studies of molecular mass transport. In the current study, electron beam irradiation in the transmission electron microscope was used to form nanopores in a crystalline material (Si). Analysis of the nanopores showed that they are formed by knock-on of atoms by the high energy incident electron beam, and surface diffusion is partially responsible for the hour-glass shapes that are found for some nanopores. Energetically favorable three-dimensional shapes of nanopores were simulated, and the nanopores simulated in the model crystalline material were found to be more stable than the nanopores simulated in the amorphous material. The nanopore shape was also found to depend on the nanopore diameter-to-length ratio. Based on the above, we demonstrate the advantage in using a crystalline material for nanopore formation and show that control of the three-dimensional shape of nanopores formed by electron beam irradiation is possible.