Observation of the Multilayer Growth Mode in Ternary InGaAs Nanowires

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Au-seeded semiconductor nanowires have classically been considered to only grow in a layer-by-layer growth mode, where individual layers nucleate and grow one at a time with an incubation step in between. Recent in situ investigations have shown that there are circumstances where binary semiconductor nanowires grow in a multilayer fashion, creating a stack of incomplete layers at the interface between a nanoparticle and a nanowire. In the current investigation, the growth behavior in ternary InGaAs nanowires has been analyzed in situ, using environmental transmission electron microscopy. The investigation has revealed that multilayer growth also occurs for ternary nanowires and appears to be more common than in the binary case. In addition, the size of the multilayer stacks observed is much larger than what has been reported previously. The investigation details the implications of multilayers for the overall growth of the nanowires, as well as the surrounding conditions under which it has manifested. We show that multilayer growth is highly dynamic, where the stack of layers regularly changes size by transporting material between the growing layers. Another observation is that multilayer growth can be initiated in conjunction with the formation of crystallographic defects and compositional changes. In addition, the role that multilayers can have in behaviors such as growth failure and kinking, sometimes observed when creating heterostructures between GaAs and InAs ex situ, is discussed. The prevalence of multilayer growth in this ternary material system implies that, in order to fully understand and accurately predict the growth of nanowires of complex composition and structure, multilayer growth has to be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539-548
JournalACS Nanoscience AU
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Condensed Matter Physics

Free keywords

  • Crystal growth dynamics
  • III-V
  • In situ TEM
  • InGaAs
  • Nanowire
  • Ternary semiconductor


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