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Kinetics of growth of nanowhiskers (nanowires and nanotubes)

Isak Avramov

Author Affiliations

Institute of Physical Chemistry, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 1113, Sofia, Bulgaria

Nanoscale Research Letters 2007, 2:235-239  doi:10.1007/s11671-007-9054-8

Published: 1 May 2007


The kinetics of nanowhiskers growth is studied theoretically taking into account the adatom diffusion from the surface to the top of needle. An exponential growth with time is expected for the initial stages of the process, when the lengthlof the whisker is smaller than the average diffusion length λ of adatoms. It transforms to linear growth rate forl > λ. The formation of nanotubes with a hollow core dislocation is explained by accounting for the role of the stress in the middle of screw dislocations. When the magnitude of the Burgers vector exceeds a critical value, it is energetically more favorable to remove the highly strained material around the dislocation line and to create a tube with an additional free surface. Additionally, there is an important size effect, due to the small radiusRof the nanowhisker. The interplay, between the contributions from the size effects and from the diffusion, explains why for the very thin nanowhiskers the lengthlis proportional to the radiusRwhile, otherwise the length is inversely proportional to it, i.e.,l∼1/R.

Nanotubes; Nanowires; Nanowhiskers