Special Issue "Growth and Structural Characterization of Self-Nucleated Nanowires"

A special issue of Crystals (ISSN 2073-4352). This special issue belongs to the section "Crystal Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (22 July 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Bruno Daudin

Université Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble, France
Website | E-Mail
Interests: nitride materials; molecular beam epitaxy; quantum dots; nanowires; light emitting diodes; nanowire physical characterization

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Because of their unique structural and optical properties, semiconductor nanowires (II-VI materials, III-V arsenides, phosphides, antimonides and nitrides) have been a subject of sustained interest for a couple of decades. This is particularly true for III-nitride nanowires (NWs). With respect to bulk and layer material, the absence/drastic reduction of extended structural defects makes them particularly promising for a new generation of light emitting diodes (LEDs) or laser diodes (LDs) emitting in a wavelength range spanning from infrared to ultraviolet.

Commonly, NWs also exhibit specific electrical properties related to their morphology: Higher dopant solubility limit than in layers, assigned to an easy elastic strain relaxation in nanowires have been reported. Fermi level pinning effects related to surface proximity as well as depletion thicknesses extending to their whole volume in the case of thin enough nanowires have also been reported and are governing to a large extent the electrical transport properties of nanowires. Combined to their growth versatility on virtually any kind of substrates (Si, semiconductors, amorphous material, metal, graphene, etc.) these unique morphological, crystallographic, optical and electrical properties make nanowires fascinating for both basic  and device-oriented research.

In the well known catalyst-assisted case the growth of nanowires is triggered by the previous deposition of catalyst droplets on the substrate, acting as a reservoir of constituing species and promoting nanowire growth according to the well known VLS regime.

By contrast, the growth of self-nucleated nanowires, namely nanowires grown in absence of any catalyst is still a matter of controversy, especially as far as the very first stages of their nucleation is concerned. Such NWs, free by nature of catalyst contamination, are particularly attractive for device applications covering the fields of LEDs and LDs, biological sensors, single NW transistors and many more. In the particular case of nitrides, the huge piezoelectric constants make NWs of potential interest  for strain-sensitive sensors and energy harvesting.

Detrimental to most of these applications the morphology, chemical composition, doping fluctuations inherent to spontaneously nucleated NWs can be overcome by using patterned substrates to grow arrays of identical NWs  with a degree of in-plane ordering favorable to device processing. In this case, the nucleation process itself is not affected and still is of “non-catalytic” nature while growth is selectively performed on predefined sites. A further degree of freedom is provided by the patterning characteristics such as pitch and hole diameter, which combined to mask selectivity have been shown to affect growth kinetics.

We invite contributors to submit manuscripts on the growth mechanisms of self-nucleated semiconductor NWs and NW heterostructures, on the characterization of their morphological, microscopical, optical and electrical properties and on the realization of devices.

The potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Growth of self-nucleated NWs including the modelling of their nucleation and of steady-state growth regime
  • Selective area growth of self-nucleated NWs, including patterning-mediated engineering of physical properties
  • Nanowire heterostructures
  • Characterization of NW physical properties (microscopic, optical, electrical, etc.)
  • Applications of self-nucleated NWs to the realization of LEDs, LDs, sensors, piezoelectric devices
  • Flexible electronics and optoelectronics applications.                                 

The first round submission deadline: 20 April 2018

Prof. Dr. Bruno Daudin
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Crystals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Semiconductor nanowires
  • Self nucleation
  • Catalyst-free nucleation
  • Self-nucleation and growth theory
  • In-plane organized nanowire growth
  • Selective area growth
  • Nanowire physical properties (structural, optical, electrical)
  • light emitting diodes
  • laser diodes
  • Nanowire devices

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle Characterization of Sub-Monolayer Contaminants at the Regrowth Interface in GaN Nanowires Grown by Selective-Area Molecular Beam Epitaxy
Crystals 2018, 8(4), 178; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst8040178
Received: 22 March 2018 / Revised: 10 April 2018 / Accepted: 17 April 2018 / Published: 19 April 2018
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While GaN nanowires (NWs) offer an attractive architecture for a variety of nanoscale optical, electronic, and mechanical devices, defects such as crystal polarity inversion domains (IDs) can limit device performance. Moreover, the formation of such defects during NW growth is not fully understood.
[...] Read more.
While GaN nanowires (NWs) offer an attractive architecture for a variety of nanoscale optical, electronic, and mechanical devices, defects such as crystal polarity inversion domains (IDs) can limit device performance. Moreover, the formation of such defects during NW growth is not fully understood. In this study, we use transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and atom probe tomography (APT) to investigate the effects of sub-monolayer contamination at the regrowth interface in GaN NWs grown by selective-area molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). TEM energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and APT independently identified Al and O contamination localized at the regrowth interface in two of the three growth runs examined. The Al and O concentrations were each estimated to be on the order of 11% of an ideal c-plane monolayer in the most severely contaminated case. The amount of contamination correlated with the number of crystal polarity inversion domain defects (IDs) across the growth runs. A growth run in which the pre-regrowth HF vapor etch step was replaced by HCl immersion showed the smallest quantity of O and no measurable Al. In addition, many of the NWs examined from the HCl-treated growth run turned out to be free of IDs. These results suggest that sub-monolayer contamination introduced during processing contributes to defect formation in MBE-grown GaN NWs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Growth and Structural Characterization of Self-Nucleated Nanowires)

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