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Microstructural characterisation of metallurgical grade porous silicon nanosponge particles

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-12-05, 09:01 authored by Edward G. Chadwick, Serguei Belochapkine, DAVID TANNERDAVID TANNER
Porous silicon finds numerous applications in the areas of bio-technology, drug delivery, energetic materials and catalysis. Recent studies by Vesta Sciences have led to the development of porous silicon nanosponge particles from metallurgical grade silicon powder through their own patented chemical etching process (Irish patent no. IE20060360). This discovery paves the way for a more economical production method for porous silicon. The study presented here studies the structural morphology of the porous silicon nanosponge particles using high resolution electron microscopy techniques combined with porisometry type measurements, where appropriate. The related surface pore structure is examined in detail using Scanning Electron Microscopy and Transmission Electron Microscopy techniques while the internal pore structure is explored using Focused Ion Beam milling and ultramicrotomed cross-sections. Three samples of the silicon particles were analysed for this study which include the starting metallurgical grade silicon powder and two samples that have been chemically etched. Analysis of the etched samples indicates a disordered pore structure with pore diameters ranging up to 15 nm on porous silicon particles ranging up to 5 mu m in size. Crystallographic orientation did not appear to affect the surface pore opening diameter. Internal pore data indicated pore depths of up to 1 mu m dependant on the particle size and etching conditions applied.



Journal of Materials Science;47, pp. 2396-2404





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