The electronic structure and transmission coefficients of Si nanowires are calculated in a 3 5 model. The effect of wire thickness on the bandgap, conduction valley splitting, hole band splitting, effective masses, and transmission is demonstrated. Results from the 3 5 model are compared to those from a single-band effective mass model to assess the validity of the singleband effective mass model in narrow Si nanowires. The one-dimensional Brillouin zone of a Si nanowire is direct gap. The conduction band minimum can split into a quartet of energies although often two of the energies are degenerate. Conduction band valley splitting reduces the averaged mobility mass along the axis of the wire, but quantum confinement increases the transverse mass of the conduction band edge. Quantum confinement results in a large increase in the hole masses of the two highest valence bands. A single-band model performs reasonably well at calculating the effective band edges for wires as small as 1.54-nm square. A wire-substrate interface can be viewed as a heterojunction with band offsets resulting in reflection in the transmission.


Nanowires (NWs), silicon nanowires (SiNWs)

Date of this Version

June 2005