Self-Assembly of InAs Nanostructures on the Sidewalls of GaAs Nanowires Directed by a Bi Surfactant Academic Article uri icon

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  • Surface energies play a dominant role in the self-assembly of three-dimensional (3D) nanostructures. In this Letter, we show that using surfactants to modify surface energies can provide a means to externally control nanostructure self-assembly, enabling the synthesis of novel hierarchical nanostructures. We explore Bi as a surfactant in the growth of InAs on the {11̅0} sidewall facets of GaAs nanowires. The presence of surface Bi induces the formation of InAs 3D islands by a process resembling the Stranski-Krastanov mechanism, which does not occur in the absence of Bi on these surfaces. The InAs 3D islands nucleate at the corners of the {11̅0} facets above a critical shell thickness and then elongate along ⟨110⟩ directions in the plane of the nanowire sidewalls. Exploiting this growth mechanism, we realize a series of novel hierarchical nanostructures, ranging from InAs quantum dots on single {11̅0} nanowire facets to zigzag-shaped nanorings completely encircling nanowire cores. Photoluminescence spectroscopy and cathodoluminescence spectral line scans reveal that small surfactant-induced InAs 3D islands behave as optically active quantum dots. This work illustrates how surfactants can provide an unprecedented level of external control over nanostructure self-assembly.


  • Lewis, Ryan
  • Corfdir, Pierre
  • Herranz, Jesús
  • Küpers, Hanno
  • Jahn, Uwe
  • Brandt, Oliver
  • Geelhaar, Lutz

publication date

  • July 12, 2017