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Synthesis of Tin Catalyzed Silicon and Germanium Nanowires in a Solvent–Vapor System and Optimization of the Seed/Nanowire Interface for Dual Lithium Cycling

Silicon and germanium nanowires are grown in high density directly from a tin layer evaporated on stainless steel. The nanowires are formed in low cost glassware apparatus using the vapor phase of a high boiling point organic solvent as the growth medium. HRTEM, DFSTEM, EELS, and EDX analysis show the NWs are single crystalline with predominant ⟨111⟩ growth directions. Investigation of the seed/nanowire interface shows that in the case of Si an amorphous carbon interlayer occurs that can be removed by modifying the growth conditions. Electrochemical data shows that both the tin metal catalyst and the semiconductor nanowire reversibly cycle with lithium when the interface between the crystalline phases of the metal and semiconductor is abrupt. The dually active nanowire arrays were shown to exhibit capacities greater than 1000 mAh g–1 after 50 charge/discharge cycles.

Authors:   Emma Mullane; Tadhg Kennedy; Hugh Geaney; Calum Dickinson; Kevin M. Ryan
Journal:   Chemistry of Materials
Year:   2013
DOI:   10.1021/cm400367v
Publication date:   04-Apr-2013
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