Indexed on: 07 Dec '11Published on: 07 Dec '11Published in: Nano Letters
We present a study of InAs nanowire (NW) growth with shape-controlled Au seed particles. In comparison to more conventional spherical particles, the highly faceted, shaped Au particles are found to enhance the initial growth kinetics of InAs NWs at identical growth conditions. Analysis of the NWs after growth by transmission electron microscopy and energy-dispersive spectroscopy suggests that while In diffuses into the bulk of the shaped Au particles, in accordance with the vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) growth mechanism, the surface faceting is preserved. A key difference is that the shaped Au particles are characterized by a thicker In shell on their surfaces than the spherical Au particles, indicating that increased adsorption of In leads to the observed growth rate enhancement. On the basis of these results, we propose that our picture of VLS growth in regards to liquefaction and droplet formation is incomplete and that the initial particle morphology can be used to tailor NW growth.