Synthesis and formation mechanism of CuInSe2 nanowires by one-step self-catalysed evaporation growth†
High-quality CuInSe2 (CISe) nanowires have been prepared by a one-step evaporation process. The presented growth process results in a composite material consisting of CISe NWs on top of a polycrystalline CISe base layer. The nanowires were extensively characterized by transmission electron microscopy, confirming their composition and atomic-scale crystal structure with a very low number of structural defects. From these analyses, we infer that the growth axis is along the  direction. The polycrystalline base layer has a tetragonal chalcopyrite structure and is optically active as confirmed by X-ray diffraction and photoluminescence (PL) analysis, respectively. Potential applications of this composite CISe NW/base-layer material for photovoltaic energy conversion are supported by the reduced reflectivity of the material and its strong PL intensity. The presented growth method is based on elemental evaporation under vacuum conditions, which makes the process compatible with the fabrication of photovoltaic devices.