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Ruhstorfer, Daniel; Lang, Armin; Matich, Sonja; Döblinger, Markus; Riedl, Hubert; Finley, Jonathan J. and Koblmüller, Gregor (2021): Growth dynamics and compositional structure in periodic InAsSb nanowire arrays on Si (111) grown by selective area molecular beam epitaxy. In: Nanotechnology, Vol. 32, No. 13, 135604

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We report a comprehensive study of the growth dynamics in highly periodic, composition tunable InAsSb nanowire (NW) arrays using catalyst-free selective area molecular beam epitaxy. Employing periodically patterned SiO2-masks on Si (111) with various mask opening sizes (20-150 nm) and pitches (0.25-2 mu m), high NW yield of >90% (irrespective of the InAsSb alloy composition) is realized by the creation of an As-terminated 1 x 1-Si(111) surface prior to NW nucleation. While the NW aspect ratio decreases continually with increasing Sb content (x(Sb) from 0% to 30%), we find a remarkable dependence of the aspect ratio on the mask opening size yielding up to similar to 8-fold increase for openings decreasing from 150 to 20 nm. The effects of the interwire separation (pitch) on the NW aspect ratio are strongest for pure InAs NWs and gradually vanish for increasing Sb content, suggesting that growth of InAsSb NW arrays is governed by an In surface diffusion limited regime even for the smallest investigated pitches. Compositional analysis using high-resolution x-ray diffraction reveals a substantial impact of the pitch on the alloy composition in homogeneous InAsSb NW arrays, leading to much larger x(Sb) as the pitch increases due to decreasing competition for Sb adatoms. Scanning transmission electron microscopy and associated energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy performed on the cross-sections of individual NWs reveal an interesting growth-axis dependent core-shell like structure with a discontinuous few-nm thick Sb-deficient coaxial boundary layer and six Sb-deficient corner bands. Further analysis evidences the presence of a nanoscale facet at the truncation of the (111)B growth front and {1-10} sidewall surfaces that is found responsible for the formation of the characteristic core-shell structure.

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