In the last decades, the metal-assisted growth approach of semiconductor nanowires (NWs) has shown its potential in controlling crystal properties, such as crystal structure, composition, and morphology. Recently, literature reports have shown successful semiconductor NW growth with multiphase seed particles under growth conditions. Exploring alternative metal seeds and the mechanisms for growing semiconductor NWs is an exciting research field aiming to improve the control over the crystal growth process. Herein, the gallium phosphide (GaP) NW growth using Cu as seed particles inside an environmental transmission electron microscope is studied. In particular, the transformations of the Cu-rich seed particles during the nucleation and growth of GaP NWs are observed. The supply of a relatively high amount of Ga atoms by the precursor mixture led to a solid Cu-rich seed particle core covered by a liquid phase. Different growth dynamics within the two-phase seed particle resulted in local competition in NW growth. As a result, the GaP NW kinked into another growth direction by forming a new interface at the NW growth front. The generated results enable insights into fundamental processes occurring in the seed particle during growth, creating leverage points for controlling the NW morphology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2300011
Number of pages10
JournalSmall Structures
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Sept

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical Chemistry

Free keywords

  • alternative seed particles
  • gallium phosphide
  • in situ TEM
  • kinking
  • liquid-assisted VSS mechanism
  • nanowires
  • phase transformations


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