Applied Physics Letters

Size-dependent modulation of carrier mobility in top-down fabricated silicon nanowires

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We have investigated the size dependence of field-effect mobility in top-down fabricated Si nanowires (NWs). We find that electron mobility increases while hole mobility decreases with the NW width. The observed trends are opposite of what we expect based on facet-dominated transport. We simulate charge densities and investigate the effect of gate stack-induced stress in an effort to explain these trends. We find that the use of piezoresistive coefficients for bulk or thin-film Si does not give sufficient change in mobility to reverse the facet-driven mobility trend. We suggest further investigation into the contribution of one-dimensional NW corner effects. © 2009 American Institute of Physics.