Silicon-in-Silica Spheres via Temperature-Gradient Controlled Amplification of In-Fiber Capillary Instabilities


  • Mechanics
  • Biotechnology
  • Photonics
  • Green energy

Problem Addressed

Silicon is an important and pervasive material in the field of electronics. However, there are no established methods for processing silicon into monodisperse spheres. The development of a versatile approach for controlled and scalable production of uniform silicon spheres would be an important breakthrough in the fields of mechanics, biotechnology, photonics and green energy. This invention provides a method.


The technology uses a silicon-in-silica fiber and a moving thermal gradient to induce capillary breakup in sub-micron fibers, resulting in the formation of monodisperse spheres. The processes allows for a continuous array of sphere of diameters less than 500 nanometers to be fabricated internal to the fiber. One application is to use this technology on P and N type silicon cores. The process creates spheres which can be fused into bi-spherical silicon “PN molecules” which have been experimentally verified to have formed PN junctions.


  • Versatile
  • Controllable
  • Scalable in terms of both size and number