Open Access Nano Express

Synthesis of long group IV semiconductor nanowires by molecular beam epitaxy

Tao Xu1, Julien Sulerzycki1, Jean Philippe Nys1, Gilles Patriarche2, Bruno Grandidier1* and Didier Stiévenard1

Author Affiliations

1 Département ISEN, Institut d'Electronique, de Microélectronique et de Nanotechnologie, IEMN (CNRS, UMR 8520), 41 bd Vauban, 59046 Lille Cedex, France

2 CNRS-Laboratoire de Photonique et de Nanostructures, Route de Nozay, 91460 Marcoussis, France

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:113  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-113

Published: 2 February 2011


We report the growth of Si and Ge nanowires (NWs) on a Si(111) surface by molecular beam epitaxy. While Si NWs grow perpendicular to the surface, two types of growth axes are found for the Ge NWs. Structural studies of both types of NWs performed with electron microscopies reveal a marked difference between the roughnesses of their respective sidewalls. As the investigation of their length dependence on their diameter indicates that the growth of the NWs predominantly proceeds through the diffusion of adatoms from the substrate up along the sidewalls, difference in the sidewall roughness qualitatively explains the length variation measured between both types of NWs. The formation of atomically flat {111} sidewalls on the <110>-oriented Ge NWs accounts for a larger diffusion length.