Abstract

Silicon nanotips fabricated by electron cyclotron resonance plasma etching of silicon wafers are studied by spectroscopic ellipsometry. The structure of the nanotips is composed of columns 100140nm wide and spaced by about 200nm. Ellipsometry data covering a wide spectral range from the midinfrared to the visible are described by modeling the nanotip layer as a graded uniaxial film using the Bruggeman effective medium approximation. The ellipsometry data in the infrared range reveal two absorption bands at 754 and 955cm1, which cannot be resolved with transmittance measurements. These bands indicate that the etching process is accompanied with formation of carbonaceous SiC and CHn species that largely modify the composition of the original crystalline silicon material affecting the optical response of the nanotips.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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