Applied Physics

The Ups and Ups of Silicon

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Science  21 Feb 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5610, pp. 1153
DOI: 10.1126/science.299.5610.1153b

The preparation of large areas of a substrate with periodic structures usually requires several steps of processing and patterning and can be a time-consuming part of the fabrication process. Removing the need for a patterning process altogether, Wysocki et al. show that a self-assembled layer of silica microspheres can be used to form a periodic array of silicon cones in a single step. The microspheres focus light from a single shot of a high-power laser onto the silicon surface and melt it. As the molten silicon cools, it begins to solidify, starting farthest away from the focal point directly under the microspheres and then toward the center. Because of the thermal properties of silicon, the volume of silicon expands as it cools, and so the center region is pushed up into a well-defined cone shape. The technique should prove particularly useful for the fabrication of field emission displays. — ISO

Appl. Phys. Lett.82, 692 (2003).

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