Silicon nanofiber clusters were successfully generated by the irradiation of millisecond pulsed laser light on silicon sludge disposed from wafer back-grinding processes. It was found that the size, intensity, and growing speed of the laser-induced plume varied with the gas pressure, while the size and morphology of the nanofibers were dependent on the laser pulse duration. The generated nanofibers were mainly amorphous with crystalline nanoparticles on their tips. The crystallinity and oxidation degree of the nanofibers depended on the preheating conditions of the silicon sludge. This study demonstrated the possibility of changing silicon waste into functional nanomaterials, which are possibly useful for fabricating high-performance lithium-ion battery electrodes.
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