Formation Mechanisms of InGaAs Nanowires Produced by a Solid-Source Two-Step Chemical Vapor Deposition

Lei Shang, Longfei Song, Yiqian Wang*, Rongsheng Cai, Lei Liu, Fengyun Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The morphologies and microstructures of Au-catalyzed InGaAs nanowires (NWs) prepared by a two-step solid-source chemical vapor deposition (CVD) method were systematically investigated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). The detailed structural characterization and statistical analysis reveal that two specific morphologies are dominant in InGaAs NWs, a zigzag surface morphology and a smooth surface morphology. The zigzag morphology results from the periodic existence of twining structures, and the smooth morphology results from a lack of twining structures. HRTEM images and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) indicate that the catalyst heads have two structures, Au4In and AuIn2, which produce InGaAs NWs in a cubic phase crystalline form. The growth mechanism of the InGaAs NWs begins with Au nanoparticles melting into small spheres. In atoms are diffused into the Au spheres to form an Au-In alloy. When the concentration of In inside the alloy reaches its saturation point, the In precipitate reacts with Ga and As atoms to form InGaAs at the interface between the catalyst and substrate. Once the InGaAs compound forms, additional precipitation and reactions only occur at the interface of the InGaAs and the catalyst. These results provide a fundamental understanding of the InGaAs NW growth process which is critical to the formation of high-quality InGaAs NWs for various device applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number263
JournalNanoscale Research Letters
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work was financially supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Shandong Province, China (grant number: ZR2018JL021, ZR2014EMQ011); the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant number: 51402160), the Taishan Scholar Program of Shandong Province, China; Applied Basic Research Foundation of Qingdao City (17-1-1-84-jch); and the 111 project (B12015). The work was also supported by the Opening Project of Key Laboratory of Microelectronic Devices and Integrated Technology, Institute of Microelectronics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the National Demonstration Center for Experimental Applied Physics Education (Qingdao University).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, The Author(s).

Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Formation mechanism
  • InGaAs nanowires
  • Microstructures
  • Morphology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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