Understanding and controlling the incorporation of metal into nanoscaled semiconductor is foundational for semiconductor processing. Through theoretical calculation and experimental results, we reveal that the interstitial atoms in the Si lattice such as Mn can quickly diffuse out of Si nanowires conveniently, thus can achieve high purity of Si nanowires. This finding of self-inhibition effect not only provides understanding of impurity incorporation at nanoscale, but also provides an extra knob for rational catalyst designs of nanoscale building blocks, and fine-tuning their electrical, optical, and thermal properties for various applications.

Nanoscale Solar Cells

Zhu, B, Yi, D, Wang, Y, Sun, H, Sha, G, Zheng, G, … Zhu, J. (2021). Self-inhibition effect of metal incorporation in nanoscaled semiconductors. PNAS, 118(4), e2010642118: 1–e2010642118: 6. doi:10.1073/pnas.2010642118

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