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Nanoelectronics Group

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Nanowire Growth

Several known mechanisms cause crystals to grow as fibers. Apparently, the most technologically useful among them is the use of liquid metal particles as catalyst. This growth mode was dabed VLS, which stands for vapor-liquid-solid (after a model for whisker growth given in the sixties by Wagner and Ellis). Apart from the liquid matal particles, the rest is plain vapor growth, at temperatures lower than typical bulk growth of the same material.

What makes VLS so useful is the control of nanowire size and placement, gained through control of the metal particle size and placement.


Some materials, however, appear to produce fibers without the aid of catalyst. This mode is gaining interest for being "cleaner." See for example our recent paper.

Our growth efforts are carried out in these main directions: semiconducting oxides (e.g., ZnO, InO), semiconducting nitrides (GaN, InN), and Si.