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    Molecular beam epitaxy of GaAs nanowires and their suitability for optoelectronic applications – comparing Au- and self-assisted growth methods
    (Berlin : Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 2011) Breuer, Steffen
    In this work the synthesis of GaAs nanowires by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) using the vapour-liquid-solid (VLS) mechanism is investigated. A comparison between Au- and self-assisted VLS growth is at the centre of this thesis. While the Au-assisted method is established as a versatile tool for nanowire growth, the recently developed self-assisted variation results from the exchange of Au by Ga droplets and thus eliminates any possibility of Au incorporation. By both methods, we achieve nanowires with epitaxial alignment to the Si(111) substrates. Caused by differences during nanowire nucleation, a parasitic planar layer grows between the nanowires by the Au-assisted method, but can be avoided by the self-assisted method. Au-assisted nanowires grow predominantly in the metastable wurtzite crystal structure, while their self-assisted counterparts have the zincblende structure. All GaAs nanowires are fully relaxed and the strain arising from the lattice mismatch between GaAs and Si of 4.1\% is accommodated by misfit dislocations at the interface. Self-assisted GaAs nanowires are generally found to have vertical and non-polar side facets, while tilted and polar nanofacets were described for Au-assisted GaAs nanowires. We employ VLS nucleation theory to understand the effect of the droplet material on the lateral facets. Optoelectronic applications require long minority carrier lifetimes at room temperature. We fabricate GaAs/(Al,Ga)As core-shell nanowires and analyse them by transient photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy. The results are 2.5 ns for the self-assisted nanowires as well as 9 ps for the Au-assisted nanowires. By temperature-dependent PL measurements we find a characteristic activation energy of 77 meV that is present only in the Au-assisted nanowires. We conclude that most likely Au is incorporated from the droplets into the GaAs nanowires and acts as a deep, non-radiative recombination centre.