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Open Access Nano Express

Probing Nucleation Mechanism of Self-Catalyzed InN Nanostructures

Guowei Xu*, Zhuangzhi Li, Javier Baca and Judy Wu

Author Affiliations

Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, 66045, USA

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2009, 5:7-13  doi:10.1007/s11671-009-9434-3

Published: 16 September 2009

Abstract

The nucleation and evolution of InN nanowires in a self-catalyzed growth process have been investigated to probe the microscopic growth mechanism of the self-catalysis and a model is proposed for high pressure growth window at ~760 Torr. In the initial stage of the growth, amorphous InNx microparticles of cone shape in liquid phase form with assistance of an InNx wetting layer on the substrate. InN crystallites form inside the cone and serve as the seeds for one-dimensional growth along the favorable [0001] orientation, resulting in single-crystalline InN nanowire bundles protruding out from the cones. An amorphous InNx sheath around the faucet tip serves as the interface between growing InN nanowires and the incoming vapors of indium and nitrogen and supports continuous growth of InN nanowires in a similar way to the oxide sheath in the oxide-assisted growth of other semiconductor nanowires. Other InN 1D nanostructures, such as belts and tubes, can be obtained by varying the InN crystallites nucleation and initiation process.

Keywords:
Indium nitride; Self-catalyzed; Nanowires; InNx cones; Sheath