Silicon nanowire piezoresistance: Impact of surface crystallographic orientation

Tymon Barwicz, Levente Klein, Steven J. Koester, Hendrik Hamann

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We investigate piezoresistance in lithographically defined silicon nanowires of various cross-sectional aspect ratios. Both 〈 110 〉 - and 〈 100 〉 -oriented nanowires are investigated under 〈 110 〉 -oriented strain. The nanowire thickness is varied from 23 to 45 nm and the nanowire width is varied from 5 to 113 nm. Our data shows piezoresistance in silicon nanowires being a surface induced effect with {110} surfaces inducing a much larger piezoresistance than {100} surfaces. This is consistent with a higher density of surface states on {110} surfaces than on {100} surfaces. Our experimental findings support recent computational work pointing toward surface states being the source of giant piezoresistance in silicon nanowires.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number023110
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 12 2010


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