SEM Characterisation of III-Group Hetero-Nanostructures

Nanowires are of great interest because of their promising electronic and optical properties, which make it possible to manipulate light. These nanostructures have confinement effects and novel physical properties that are not otherwise exhibited in bulk materials.

Of special interest are nanowires based on group-III nitrides such as GaN since they are semiconductor materials with a wide band gap, a property which has made it possible to envisage far reaching applications in modern micro- and optoelectronic devices including laser for lighting, sensors, and flexible optical devices such as displays.

Physical Features

It has been found that physical features such as length, diameter, alignment, composition, crystalline structure, purity, doping, defect density, as well as growth direction and nature of facets are all essential in determining the emission and absorption properties of nanowires, and therefore in determining their use and applications.

For instance, when the nanowires are grown vertically aligned with respect to the surface substrate, light can escape only at the top facet while the light emitted from sidewall facets would be absorbed by surrounding rods. Such nanowire arrays are suitable for photovoltaic devices.

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