Understanding GaAs Nanowire Growth in the Ag-Au Seed Materials System

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The integration of III-V semiconductors with Si in device fabrication is facilitated by the use of nanoscale structures such as nanowires. Nanowires are predominantly grown using Au seed particles; however, the seed material is known to affect the nanowire growth and properties. Here we present growth of GaAs nanowires using three different seed particle materials: Au, Ag, and a AgAu alloy. By comparing the results from the different seeds, we found that the growths of Au- and AgAu-seeded nanowires were in general very similar, with homogeneous and vertical nanowires observed in both cases. The Ag-seeded growths instead revealed a lower yield of vertical nanowires with large variations in lengths. Different Ga-concentrations were measured in the different seed particles, which suggested that the Au and the AgAu seed particles were liquid during growth, whereas Ag particles were solid. The chemical potential of Ga was however found to be similar for all three seed materials. We propose that the Ga concentrations are determined by the chemical potential of Ga, which in turn explains why Ag-seeded nanowire growth proceeds with a solid particle. Overall, this study shows that varying the seed material can be a powerful tool to gain a deeper understanding of particle assisted nanowire growth.


External organisations
  • University of Copenhagen
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Condensed Matter Physics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6702–6712
JournalCrystal Growth and Design
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication categoryResearch