Laser ablation with nanosecond-pulsed Nd:YAG laser irradiation combined with anisotropic alkaline etching of Si wafers creates 4–20 µm macropores that extend all the way through the wafer. The walls of these macropores are crystallographically defined by the interaction of the anisotropy of the etchant with the orientation of the single-crystal silicon substrate: rectangular/octagonal on Si(001), parallelepiped on Si(110), triangular/hexagonal on Si(111). Laser ablation can create pillars with peak-tovalley heights of over 100 µm. However, with nanosecondpulsed irradiation at 532 nm, the majority of this height is created by growth above the original plane of the substrate whereas for 355 nm irradiation, the majority of the height is located below the initial plane of the substrate. Repeated cycles of ablation and alkaline etching are required for membrane formation. Therefore, irradiating with 355 nm maintained better the crystallographically defined nature of the through-pores whereas irradiation at 532 nm led to more significant pore merging and less regularity in the macropore shapes. Texturing of the substrates with alkaline-etching induced pyramids or near-field modulation of the laser intensity by diffraction off of a grid or grating is used to modulate the growth of ablation pillars and the resulting macropores. Texturing causes the macropores to be more uniform and significantly improves the yield of macropores. The size range of these macropores may make them useful in single-cell biological studies.
Open Material Sciences
Knight, S. C., Unger, B. A., & Kolasinski, K. W. (2018). Crystallographically Defined Silicon Macropore Membranes. Open Material Sciences, 4, 33-41. http://dx.doi.org/doi.org/10.1515/oms-2018-0004