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Jeon, Nari; Ruhstorfer, Daniel; Doeblinger, Markus; Matich, Sonja; Loitsch, Bernhard; Koblmüller, Gregor and Lauhon, Lincoln (2018): Connecting Composition-Driven Faceting with Facet-Driven Composition Modulation in GaAs-AlGaAs Core-Shell Nanowires. In: Nano Letters, Vol. 18, No. 8: pp. 5179-5185

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Ternary III-V alloys of tunable bandgap are a foundation for engineering advanced optoelectronic devices based on quantum-confined structures including quantum wells, nanowires, and dots. In this context, core-shell nanowires provide useful geometric degrees of freedom in heterostructure design, but alloy segregation is frequently observed in epitaxial shells even in the absence of interface strain. High-resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy and laser-assisted atom probe tomography were used to investigate the driving forces of segregation in nonplanar GaAs-AlGaAs core-shell nanowires. Growth-temperature- dependent studies of Al-rich regions growing on radial {112} nanofacets suggest that facet-dependent bonding preferences drive the enrichment, rather than kinetically limited diffusion. Observations of the distinct interface faceting when pure AlAs is grown on GaAs confirm the preferential bonding of A1 on {112} facets over {110} facets, explaining the decomposition behavior. Furthermore, three-dimensional composition profiles generated by atom probe tomography reveal the presence of Al-nch nanonngs perpendicular to the growth direction;correlated electron microscopy shows that short zincblende insertions in a nanowire segment with predominantly wurtzite structure are enriched in Al, demonstrating that crystal phase engineering can be used to modulate composition. The findings suggest strategies to limit alloy decomposition and promote new geometries of quantum confined structures.

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