III-nitride nanowires have attracted increasing interest as potential ultracompact and low-power nanoscale lasers in the UV-visible wavelengths. In order to maximize the potential of nanowire lasers, a greater understanding and control over their properties, including mode control, polarization control, wavelength tuning, and beam shaping, is necessary. Here, we discuss the fabrication of III-nitride based single nanowire and nanowire photonic crystal lasers using a top-down approach, and present multiple methods for controlling their optical properties. The nanowires were fabricated by a two-step process composed of a lithographic dry etch followed by a selective, wet chemical etch of the nanowire sidewalls. This technique allows for high quality nanowires with straight and smooth nonpolar m-plane sidewalls and with controllable height, pitch and diameter. Precisely engineered axial nanowire heterostructures can be formed from planar heterostructures, while radial nanowire heterostructures can be formed via regrowth on the etched nanowires.
This work was performed, in part, at the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, a U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences user facility. Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory managed and operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000.