Vapor–liquid–solid growth of serrated GaN nanowires: shape selection driven by kinetic frustration†
Compound semiconducting nanowires are promising building blocks for several nanoelectronic devices yet the inability to reliably control their growth morphology is a major challenge. Here, we report the Au-catalyzed vapor–liquid–solid (VLS) growth of GaN nanowires with controlled growth direction, surface polarity and surface roughness. We develop a theoretical model that relates the growth form to the kinetic frustration induced by variations in the V(N)/III(Ga) ratio across the growing nanowire front. The model predictions are validated by the trends in the as-grown morphologies induced by systematic variations in the catalyst particle size and processing conditions. The principles of shape selection highlighted by our study pave the way for morphological control of technologically relevant compound semiconductor nanowires.