Advances in the theory of III-V nanowire growth dynamics

Nanowire (NW) crystal growth via the vapour-liquid-solid mechanism is a complex dynamic process involving interactions between many atoms of various thermodynamic states. With increasing speed over the last few decades many works have reported on various aspects of the growth mechanisms, both experimentally and theoretically. We will here propose a general continuum formalism for growth kinetics based on thermodynamic parameters and transition state kinetics. We use the formalism together with key elements of recent research to present a more overall treatment of III-V NW growth, which can serve as a basis to model and understand the dynamical mechanisms in terms of the basic control parameters, temperature and pressures/beam fluxes. Self-catalysed GaAs NW growth on Si substrates by molecular beam epitaxy is used as a model system.

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