Post-nucleation evolution of the liquid-solid interface in nanowire growth

Carina B. Maliakkal, Daniel Jacobsson, Marcus Tornberg, Kimberly A. Dick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study using in situ transmission electron microscopy the birth of GaAs nanowires from liquid Au-Ga catalysts on amorphous substrates. Lattice-resolved observations of the starting stages of growth are reported here for the first time. It reveals how the initial nanostructure evolves into a nanowire growing in a zincblende 111 or the equivalent wurtzite0001 direction. This growth direction(s) is what is typically observed in most III-V and II-VI nanowires. However, the reason for this preferential nanowire growth along this direction is still a dilemma. Based on the videos recorded shortly after the nucleation of nanowires, we argue that the lower catalyst droplet-nanowire interface energy of the {111} facet when zincblende (or the equivalent {0001} facet in wurtzite) is the reason for this direction selectivity in nanowires.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105607
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Mar 5

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Condensed Matter Physics

Free keywords

  • catalyst-nanowire interface energy
  • growth direction
  • in situ TEM
  • lattice resolved
  • nucleation


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