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17 February 2009 Growth kinetics of Si and Ge nanowires
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Si and Ge nanowires have potential applications in a wide variety of areas including thermoelectrics, optoelectronics, and sensors. Nanowires are most commonly grown via the vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) process. In this method, a vapor phase containing the material of interest preferentially dissociates at a liquid catalyst and is incorporated as a solid at the solid-liquid interface. However, despite 40 years of research in this area, several aspects of nanowire growth remain unclear, even for relatively simple elemental Si and Ge wires. Here, we will review our in situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) investigations of Si and Ge nanowire growth kinetics. The observations are carried out in an ultra-high vacuum TEM (the IBM UHV-TEM) equipped with facilities for deposition during observation. Using Au as the catalyst, we study the VLS growth of Si and Ge nanowires as a function of disilane or digermane pressure and substrate temperature. We find surprisingly different growth mechanisms for the two materials. The insights gained from in situ results may help devise methods for large-scale fabrication of wires with controlled architecture.
© (2009) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
S. Kodambaka, J. Tersoff, M. C. Reuter, and F. M. Ross "Growth kinetics of Si and Ge nanowires", Proc. SPIE 7224, Quantum Dots, Particles, and Nanoclusters VI, 72240C (17 February 2009);


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