Catalyst–substrate interaction and growth delay in vapor–liquid–solid nanowire growth
Understanding of the initial stage of nanowire growth on a bulk substrate is crucial for the rational design of nanowire building blocks in future electronic and optoelectronic devices. Here, we provide in situ scanning electron microscopy and Auger microscopy analysis of the initial stage of Au-catalyzed Ge nanowire growth on different substrates. Real-time microscopy imaging and elementally resolved spectroscopy clearly show that the catalyst dissolves the underlying substrate if held above a certain temperature. If the substrate dissolution is blocked (or in the case of heteroepitaxy) the catalyst needs to be filled with nanowire material from the external supply, which significantly increases the initial growth delay. The experiments presented here reveal the important role of the substrate in metal-catalyzed nanowire growth and pave the way for different growth delay mitigation strategies.
NANOTECHNOLOGY. 2018, vol. 29, issue 20, p. 1-7.
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