Enhanced Photothermal Conversion in Vertically Oriented Gallium Arsenide Nanowire Arrays
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The photothermal properties of vertically etched gallium arsenide nanowire arrays are examined using Raman spectroscopy. The nanowires are arranged in square lattices with a constant pitch of 400 nm and diameters ranging from 50 to 155 nm. The arrays were illuminated using a 532 nm laser with an incident energy density of 10 W/mm(2). Nanowire temperatures were highly dependent on the nanowire diameter and were determined by measuring the spectral red-shift for both TO and LO phonons. The highest temperatures were observed for 95 nm diameter nanowires, whose top facets and sidewalls heated up to 600 and 440 K, respectively, and decreased significantly for the smaller or larger diameters studied. The diameter-dependent heating is explained by resonant coupling of the incident laser light into optical modes of the nanowires, resulting in increased absorption. Photothermal activity in a given nanowire diameter can be optimized by proper wavelength selection, as confirmed using computer simulations. This demonstrates that the photothermal properties of GaAs nanowires can be enhanced and tuned by using a photonic lattice structure and that smaller nanowire diameters are not necessarily better to achieve efficient photothermal conversion. The diameter and wavelength dependence of the optical coupling could allow for localized temperature gradients by creating arrays which consist of different diameters.
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