Strain in semiconductor core-shell nanowires

Johan Grönqvist, Niels Søndergaard, Fredrik Boxberg, Thomas Guhr, Sven Åberg, Hongqi Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (SciVal)


We compute strain distributions in core-shell nanowires of zinc blende structure. We use both continuum elasticity theory and an atomistic model, and consider both finite and infinite wires. The atomistic valence force-field (VFF) model has only few assumptions. But it is less computationally efficient than the finite-element (FE) continuum elasticity model. The generic properties of the strain distributions in core-shell nanowires obtained based on the two models agree well. This agreement indicates that although the calculations based on the VFF model are computationally feasible in many cases, the continuum elasticity theory suffices to describe the strain distributions in large core-shell nanowire structures. We find that the obtained strain distributions for infinite wires are excellent approximations to the strain distributions in finite wires, except in the regions close to the ends. Thus, our most computationally efficient model, the FE continuum elasticity model developed for infinite wires, is sufficient, unless edge effects are important. We give a comprehensive discussion of strain profiles. We find that the hydrostatic strain in the core is dominated by the axial strain-component, epsilon(ZZ). We also find that although the individual strain components have a complex structure, the hydrostatic strain shows a much simpler structure. All in-plane strain components are of similar magnitude. The nonplanar off-diagonal strain components (epsilon(XZ) and epsilon(YZ)) are small but nonvanishing. Thus the material is not only stretched and compressed but also warped. The models used can be extended for the study of wurtzite nanowire structures, as well as nanowires with multiple shells.
Original languageEnglish
Article number053508
JournalApplied Physics Reviews
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Mathematical Physics (Faculty of Technology) (011040002), Solid State Physics (011013006)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical Sciences


  • tensile strength
  • nanowires
  • III-V semiconductors
  • arsenide
  • gallium
  • finite element analysis
  • elasticity
  • electronic structure


Dive into the research topics of 'Strain in semiconductor core-shell nanowires'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this