• Microtubes, inorganic;
  • Silicon


A simple template-free high-temperature evaporation method was developed for the growth of crystalline Si microtubes for the first time. As-grown Si microtubes were characterized using X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and room-temperature photoluminescence. The lengths of the Si tubes can reach several hundreds of micrometers; some of them have lengths on the order of millimeters. Each tube has a uniform outer diameter along its entire length, and the typical outer diameter is ≈ 2–3 μm. Most of the tubes have a wall thickness of ≈ 400–500 nm, though a considerable number of them exhibit a very thin wall thickness of ≈ 50 nm. Room-temperature photoluminescence measurement shows the as-synthesized Si microtubes have two strong emission peaks centered at ≈ 589 nm and ≈ 617 nm and a weak emission peak centered at ≈ 455 nm. A possible mechanism for the formation of these Si tubes is proposed. We believe that the present discovery of the crystalline Si microtubes will promote further experimental studies on their physical properties and smart applications.