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Mechanism of periodic height variations along self-aligned VLS-grown planar nanostructures

Steele, J.A.; Horvat, J.; Lewis, R.A.; Henini, M.; Fan, D.; Mazur, Yu.I.; Dorogan, V.G.; Grant, P.C.; Yu, S.Q.; Salamo, G.J.


J.A. Steele

J. Horvat

R.A. Lewis

D. Fan

Yu.I. Mazur

V.G. Dorogan

P.C. Grant

S.Q. Yu

G.J. Salamo


In this study we report in-plane nanotracks produced by molecular-beam-epitaxy (MBE) exhibiting lateral self-assembly and unusual periodic and out-of-phase height variations across their growth axes. The nanotracks are synthesized using bismuth segregation on the GaAsBi epitaxial surface, which results in metallic liquid droplets capable of catalyzing GaAsBi nanotrack growth via the vapor–liquid–solid (VLS) mechanism. A detailed examination of the nanotrack morphologies is carried out employing a combination of scanning electron and atomic force microscopy and, based on the findings, a geometric model of nanotrack growth during MBE is developed. Our results indicate diffusion and shadowing effects play significant roles in defining the interesting nanotrack shape. The unique periodicity of our lateral nanotracks originates from a rotating nucleation “hot spot” at the edge of the liquid–solid interface, a feature caused by the relative periodic circling of the non-normal ion beam flux incident on the sample surface, inside the MBE chamber. We point out that such a concept is divergent from current models of crawling mode growth kinetics and conclude that these effects may be utilized in the design and assembly of planar nanostructures with controlled non-monotonous structure.


Steele, J., Horvat, J., Lewis, R., Henini, M., Fan, D., Mazur, Y., …Salamo, G. (in press). Mechanism of periodic height variations along self-aligned VLS-grown planar nanostructures. Nanoscale, 7(48),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 6, 2015
Online Publication Date Nov 10, 2015
Deposit Date Jun 30, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jul 4, 2016
Journal Nanoscale
Print ISSN 2040-3364
Electronic ISSN 2040-3372
Publisher Royal Society of Chemistry
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue 48
Public URL
Publisher URL!divAbstract


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