Diameter evolution of selective area grown Ga-assisted GaAs nanowires

H. Küpers1, R.B. Lewis1, A. Tahraoui1, M. Matalla2, O. Krüger2, F. Bastiman1, H. Riechert1, and L. Geelhaar1

Published in:

Nano Res., vol. 11, no. 5, pp. 2885-2893 (2018).

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Tapering of vapour-liquid-solid (VLS) grown nanowires (NWs) is a widespread phenomenon resulting from dynamics of the liquid droplet during growth and direct vapour-solid (VS) growth on the sidewall. To investigate both effects in a highly controlled way, we developed a novel two-step growth approach for the selective area growth (SAG) of GaAs nanowires (NWs) by molecular beam epitaxy. In this growth approach optimum growth parameters are provided for the nucleation of NWs in a first step and for the shape variation during elongation in a second step, allowing NWs with a thin diameter (45 nm) and an untapered morphology to be realized with high vertical yield. We quantify the flux dependence of radial VS growth and build a model that takes into account diffusion on the NW sidewalls to explain the observed VS growth rates. As our model is consistent with axial VLS growth we can combine it with an existing model for the diameter variation due to the droplet dynamics at the NW top. Thereby, we achieve full understanding of the diameter of NWs over their entire length and the evolution of the diameter and tapering during growth. We conclude that only the combination of droplet dynamics and VS growth results in an untapered morphology. This result enables NW shape engineering and has important implications for doping of NWs.

1 Paul-Drude-Institut für Festkörperelektronik, Hausvogteiplatz 5-7, 10117 Berlin, Germany
2 Ferdinand-Braun-Institut, Leibniz-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik (FBH), Gustav-Kirchhoff-Str. 4, 12489 Berlin, Germany


GaAs, molecular beam epitaxy, semiconductor, growth model, nanowire, tapering.