Crystallization of amorphous SiO2 microtubes catalyzed by lithium

Lili Zhao, Na Li, Andreas Langner, Martin Steinhart*, Teh Y. Tan, Eckhard Pippel, Herbert Hofmeister, King-Ning Tu, Ulrich Gösele

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Amorphous silica formed by thermally oxidizing silicon is commonly eligible for lithographic patterning or can be grown on patterned substrates. However, it is still a challenge to combine controlled microstructuring with controlled crystallization of SiO2. Here, it is shown that traces of volatile lithium species transported through the gas phase catalyze the crystallization of silica integrated into common silicon microstructures. The selected crystallization temperature determines which polymorph forms. As an example, the formation of quartz, tridymite, and cristobalite microtubes by thermally oxidizing macroporous silicon is investigated. Lithium-induced crystallization may extend state-of-the-art silicon technology and yield nano- and microstructures consisting of different silica polymorphs, which are, in contrast to many functional oxides, nontoxic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1952-1957
Number of pages6
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number12
StatePublished - 13 Aug 2007

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