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Twin Plane Re-entrant Mechanism for Catalytic Nanowire Growth

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posted on 12.03.2014, 00:00 by Andrew D. Gamalski, Peter W. Voorhees, Caterina Ducati, Renu Sharma, Stephan Hofmann
A twin-plane based nanowire growth mechanism is established using Au catalyzed Ge nanowire growth as a model system. Video-rate lattice-resolved environmental transmission electron microscopy shows a convex, V-shaped liquid catalyst-nanowire growth interface for a ⟨112⟩ growth direction that is composed of two Ge {111} planes that meet at a twin boundary. Unlike bulk crystals, the nanowire geometry allows steady-state growth with a single twin boundary at the nanowire center. We suggest that the nucleation barrier at the twin-plane re-entrant groove is effectively reduced by the line energy, and hence the twin acts as a preferential nucleation site that dictates the lateral step flow cycle which constitutes nanowire growth.