Resonant photo-thermal modification of vertical gallium arsenide nanowires studied using Raman spectroscopy
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Gallium arsenide nanowires have shown considerable promise for use in applications in which the absorption of light is required. When the nanowires are oriented vertically, a considerable amount of light can be absorbed, leading to significant heating effects. Thus, it is important to understand the threshold power densities that vertical GaAs nanowires can support, and how the nanowire morphology is altered under these conditions. Here, resonant photo-thermal modification of vertical GaAs nanowires was studied using both Raman spectroscopy and electron microscopy techniques. Resonant waveguiding, and subsequent absorption of the excited optical mode reduces the irradiance vertical GaAs nanowires can support relative to horizontal ones, by three orders of magnitude before the onset of structural changes occur. A power density of only 20 W mm(-2) was sufficient to induce local heating in the nanowires, resulting in the formation of arsenic species. Upon further increasing the power, a hollow nanowire morphology was realized. These findings are pertinent to all optical applications and spectroscopic measurements involving vertically oriented GaAs nanowires. Understanding the optical absorption limitations, and the effects of exceeding these limitations will help improve the development of all III-V nanowire devices.
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