The REMRSEC's Si nanoparticle reactor uses a dilute mixture of silane in argon. When this mixture is exposed to a plasma in a quartz tube, Si nanoparticles approximately 7 nm in diameter are formed by a vapor phase process. The nanoparticles are captured on a substrate or mesh located downstream from the reactor tube. The Si nanoparticles are very sensitive to oxygen and moisture. The capturing substrate or mesh can be removed from the reactor in a load lock and transferred to a nearby glove box for processing in a dry, oxygen free atmosphere.
The nanoparticle reactor is supplied with the same gases as the PECVD cluster tool. Due to their hazardous nature, its usage is restricted to trained staff and graduate students who need its growth capabilities on a long term basis.