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Fabrication of highly ordered anodic aluminium oxide templates on silicon substrates

Fabrication of highly ordered anodic aluminium oxide templates on silicon substrates

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The controlled fabrication of highly ordered anodic aluminium oxide (AAO) templates of unprecedented pore uniformity directly on Si, enabled by new advances on two fronts – direct and timed anodisation of a high-purity Al film of unprecedented thickness (50 µm) on Si, and anodising a thin but pre-textured Al film on Si, has been reported. To deposit high-quality and ultra-thick Al on a non-compliant substrate, a prerequisite for obtaining highly ordered pore arrays on Si by self-organisation while retaining a good adhesion, a specially designed process of e-beam evaporation followed by in situ annealing has been deployed. To obtain an AAO template with the same high degree of ordering and uniformity but from a thin Al film, which is not achievable by the self-organisation alone, pre-patterning of the thin Al surface by reactive ion etching using a free-standing AAO mask that was formed in a separate process was performed. The resultant AAO/Si template provides a good platform for integrated growth of nanotube, nanowire or nanodot arrays on Si. Template-assisted growth of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) directly on Si was demonstrated via a chemical vapour deposition method. By controllably removing the AAO barrier layer at the bottom of the pores and partially etching back the AAO top surface, new CNT/Si structures were obtained with potential applications in field emitters, sensors, oscillators and photodetectors.

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