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Guided Growth of Millimeter-Long Horizontal Nanowires with Controlled Orientations

Science  19 Aug 2011:
Vol. 333, Issue 6045, pp. 1003-1007
DOI: 10.1126/science.1208455

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Abstract

The large-scale assembly of nanowires with controlled orientation on surfaces remains one challenge preventing their integration into practical devices. We report the vapor-liquid-solid growth of aligned, millimeter-long, horizontal GaN nanowires with controlled crystallographic orientations on different planes of sapphire. The growth directions, crystallographic orientation, and faceting of the nanowires vary with each surface orientation, as determined by their epitaxial relationship with the substrate, as well as by a graphoepitaxial effect that guides their growth along surface steps and grooves. Despite their interaction with the surface, these horizontally grown nanowires display few structural defects, exhibiting optical and electronic properties comparable to those of vertically grown nanowires. This paves the way to highly controlled nanowire structures with potential applications not available by other means.

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