466726 Surface Hydrogen Enables Sub-Eutectic Vapor-Liquid-Solid Semiconductor Nanowire Growth

Sunday, November 13, 2016: 4:06 PM
Golden Gate 7 (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Ho Yee Hui1, Saujan V. Sivaram1, Maria de la Mata2, Jordi Arbiol2 and Michael A. Filler1, (1)School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, (2)Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Barcelona, Spain

Semiconductor nanowires are emerging as indispensable nanoscale building blocks for next generation energy conversion, electronic, and photonic devices. The bottom-up vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) mechanism – whereby a liquid eutectic "catalyst" droplet collects precursor molecules (or atoms) from the vapor and directs crystallization of the solid nanowire – is a nearly ubiquitous method for nanowire synthesis. While VLS growth below the bulk metal-semiconductor eutectic temperature has long been known, the fundamental processes that govern this behavior are poorly understood. Here, we show that hydrogen atoms adsorbed on the Ge nanowire sidewall enable AuGe catalyst supercooling and control Au transport. Our experimental approach combines in situ infrared spectroscopy to directly and quantitatively determine hydrogen atom coverage with a "regrowth" step that allows catalyst phase to be determined with ex situ electron microscopy. Maintenance of a supercooled catalyst with only hydrogen radical delivery confirms the centrality of sidewall chemistry. This work underscores the importance of the nanowire sidewall and its chemistry on catalyst state, identifies new methods to regulate catalyst composition, and provides synthetic strategies for sub-eutectic growth in other nanowire systems. We leverage this newfound understanding of nanowire growth chemistry to fabricate large-area arrays of high quality axial Si/Ge heterostructures.

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