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Portrait of Reine Wallenberg. Photo: Kennet Ruona

Reine Wallenberg

Professor, Coordinator Materials Science

Portrait of Reine Wallenberg. Photo: Kennet Ruona

Kinetics of Au-Ga Droplet Mediated Decomposition of GaAs Nanowires


  • Marcus Tornberg
  • Daniel Jacobsson
  • Axel R. Persson
  • Reine Wallenberg
  • Kimberly A. DIck
  • Suneel Kodambaka

Summary, in English

Particle-assisted III-V semiconductor nanowire growth and applications thereof have been studied extensively. However, the stability of nanowires in contact with the particle and the particle chemical composition as a function of temperature remain largely unknown. In this work, we use in situ transmission electron microscopy to investigate the interface between a Au-Ga particle and the top facet of an ?1 1 1 ?-oriented GaAs nanowire grown via the vapor-liquid-solid process. We observed a thermally activated bilayer-by-bilayer removal of the GaAs facet in contact with the liquid particle during annealing between 300 and 420 °C in vacuum. Interestingly, the GaAs-removal rates initially depend on the thermal history of the sample and are time-invariant at later times. In situ X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy was also used to determine that the Ga content in the particle at any given temperature remains constant over extended periods of time and increases with increasing temperature from 300 to 400 °C. We attribute the observed phenomena to droplet-assisted decomposition of GaAs at a rate that is controlled by the amount of Ga in the droplet. We suggest that the observed transients in removal rates are a direct consequence of time-dependent changes in the Ga content. Our results provide new insights into the role of droplet composition on the thermal stability of GaAs nanowires and complement the existing knowledge on the factors influencing nanowire growth. Moreover, understanding the nanowire stability and decomposition is important for improving processing protocols for the successful fabrication and sustained operation of nanowire-based devices.


  • Solid State Physics
  • NanoLund
  • Centre for Analysis and Synthesis

Publishing year







Nano Letters

Document type

Journal article


The American Chemical Society (ACS)


  • Nano Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics


  • annealing
  • GaAs
  • in situ
  • Nanowire
  • transmission electron microscopy
  • X-ray energy-dispersive spectroscopy




  • ISSN: 1530-6984