Open Access Nano Express

From the nucleation of wiggling Au nanostructures to the dome-shaped Au droplets on GaAs (111)A, (110), (100), and (111)B

Ming-Yu Li1, Mao Sui1, Eun-Soo Kim1 and Jihoon Lee12*

Author Affiliations

1 College of Electronics and Information, Kwangwoon University, Nowon-gu, Seoul 139-701, South Korea

2 Institute of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701, USA

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:113  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-113

Published: 12 March 2014


In this paper, the systematic evolution process of self-assembled Au droplets is successfully demonstrated on GaAs (111)A, (110), (100), and (111)B. On various GaAs substrates, self-assembled Au clusters begin to nucleate at around 300°C, and then, they develop into wiggly Au nanostructures at 350°C. Between 400°C and 550°C, the self-assembled dome-shaped Au droplets with fine uniformity are fabricated with various sizes and densities based on the Volmer-Weber growth mode. Depending on the annealing temperature, the size including the average height and lateral diameter and the density of Au droplets show the opposite trend of increased size with correspondingly decreased density as a function of the annealing temperature due to the difference in the diffusion length of adatoms at varied activation energy. Under an identical growth condition, depending on the surface index, the size and density of Au droplets show a clear distinction, observed throughout the temperature range. The results are systematically analyzed and discussed in terms of atomic force microscopy (AFM) images, cross-sectional line profiles, and Fourier filter transform (FFT) power spectra as well as the summary plots of the size and density.

Self-assembled Au droplets; Annealing temperature; Various surface indices; Nucleation