Efficient methodology to correlate structural with optical properties of GaAs nanowires based on scanning electron microscopy Academic Article uri icon

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  • Twin boundaries and boundaries between zincblende (ZB) and wurtzite (WZ) segments of GaAs-related nanowires (NWs) form intrinsic heterointerfaces with essential consequences for the application of such nanomaterials in optoelectronic devices. We show that for GaAs and GaAs/(Al, Ga)As core/shell NWs, crystal twinning along the NW axis can be imaged with a spatial resolution of 10 nm using secondary electrons in a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Changes of the crystal structure from the ZB to the WZ phase have been investigated by electron backscatter diffraction. In addition to these methods, we employ spectrally and spatially resolved cathodoluminescence measurements in the same SEM to study the correlation between the structural and optical properties in single NWs. Two GaAs/AlAs/GaAs core/shell/shell NWs differing significantly in the crystal structure along their axis have been investigated combining these three techniques in order to demonstrate the strength of the employed methodology. Our experiments show that based on commonly available SEM methods, an overview of the structural properties along an entire NW and their impact on the spectral and spatial luminescence distribution can be efficiently obtained providing a quick feedback for the optimization of growth conditions.


  • Lin, Wan-Hsien
  • Jahn, Uwe
  • Küpers, Hanno
  • Luna, Esperanza
  • Lewis, Ryan
  • Geelhaar, Lutz
  • Brandt, Oliver

publication date

  • October 13, 2017