In this chapter, we investigate on indium particles elaboration by different annealing processes: rapid thermal annealing (RTA) and conventional processes. The elaborated particles are dedicated to be used as catalyst for silicon nanowires’ (SiNWs) growth by vapor–liquid–solid (VLS) process. The annealing parameters effect on indium particles properties is studied. After conventional annealing, the indium layer is cracked into elongated and inhomogeneous islands of micrometric sizes. XRD analysis depicts, in addition to pure indium planes, the presence of new peaks attributed to indium oxide (In2O3) planes formed during annealing. After hydrogen treatment with a flow rate of 60 sccm during 10 min, some In2O3 peaks are eliminated and replaced by new indium peaks, explaining the amelioration of indium particles morphology. These formed particles have been used as catalyst for SiNWs’ growth. A low density of SiNWs is obtained, attributed to In2O3 persistence, decreasing the indium catalytic effect. Quasi-spherical and homogeneously distributed indium particles with an average size of 422 nm are successfully grown in one step by the RTA process during short time (5 min) at lower temperature (450°C). XRD analysis shows the absence of indium oxide in the contrary to those formed by the conventional furnace. SiNWs with higher density are obtained, highlighting the harmful role of indium oxide.
Part of the book: Post-Transition Metals