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Kinetic Effects in InP Nanowire Growth and Stacking Fault Formation: The Role of Interface Roughening

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journal contribution
posted on 11.05.2011, 00:00 by Thalita Chiaramonte, Luiz H. G. Tizei, Daniel Ugarte, Mônica A. Cotta
InP nanowire polytypic growth was thoroughly studied using electron microscopy techniques as a function of the In precursor flow. The dominant InP crystal structure is wurtzite, and growth parameters determine the density of stacking faults (SF) and zinc blende segments along the nanowires (NWs). Our results show that SF formation in InP NWs cannot be univocally attributed to the droplet supersaturation, if we assume this variable to be proportional to the ex situ In atomic concentration at the catalyst particle. An imbalance between this concentration and the axial growth rate was detected for growth conditions associated with larger SF densities along the NWs, suggesting a different route of precursor incorporation at the triple phase line in that case. The formation of SFs can be further enhanced by varying the In supply during growth and is suppressed for small diameter NWs grown under the same conditions. We attribute the observed behaviors to kinetically driven roughening of the semiconductor/metal interface. The consequent deformation of the triple phase line increases the probability of a phase change at the growth interface in an effort to reach local minima of system interface and surface energy.