Guided growth of horizontal Zno nanowires with controlled orientations on flat and faceted sapphire surfaces Academic Article uri icon


  • The large-scale integration of nanowires into practical devices is hindered by the limited ability to controllably assemble these nanoscale objects on surfaces. Following our first report on the guided growth of millimeter-long horizontal nanowires with controlled orientations, here we demonstrate the generality of the guided growth approach by extending it from GaN nanowires to ZnO nanowires. We describe the guided growth of horizontally aligned ZnO nanowires with controlled crystallographic orientations on eight different planes of sapphire, including both flat and faceted surfaces. The growth directions, crystallographic orientation, and faceting of the nanowires are constant for each surface plane and are determined by their epitaxial relation with the substrate, as well as by a graphoepitaxial effect that guides their growth along surface steps and grooves. These horizontal ZnO nanowires exhibit optical and electronic properties comparable to those of vertically grown nanowires, indicating a low concentration of defects. While the guided growth of ZnO nanowires described here resembles the guided growth of GaN nanowires in its general aspects, it also displays notable differences and qualitatively new phenomena, such as the controlled growth of nanowires with vicinal orientations, longitudinal grain boundaries, and thickness-dependent orientations. This article proves the generality of the guided growth phenomenon, which enables us to create highly controlled nanowire structures and arrays with potential applications not available by other means.

publication date

  • January 1, 2012