From Phys Org:

From solar cells that capture more light, to medical devices that resist colonization by bacteria; there are many applications for materials given a bristly coating of silicon nanowires. Creating these nanostructured silicon surfaces can be challenging—but A*STAR researchers have now discovered how to control at least one route.

Metal-assisted chemical etching (MacEtch) is one of the most scalable and cost-effective ways to form these surfaces, but researchers frequently encounter discrepancies between existing MacEtch models and the process in reality.

Sing Yang Chiam at the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering and his colleagues have now discovered the key governing mechanism by which MacEtch works. “We were very surprised by our discoveries,” says Chiam. “Only after many repeated tests, and studying it from many angles, did we become convinced by our model.”

Read more at: Better understanding the principles of silicon etching leads to improved surface patterning reposted by Silicon Valley Microelectronics Inc.