Crystallographic orientation control and optical properties of GaN nanowires†
The optical and electrical properties of nitride materials are closely related to their crystallographic orientation. Here, we report our effort on crystallographic orientation manipulation of GaN NWs using vapour–liquid–solid hydride vapour phase epitaxy (VLS-HVPE). The growth orientations of the GaN NWs are tuned from the polar c-axis to the non-polar m-axis by simply varying the supply of III precursors on various substrates, including c-, r, m-plane sapphire, (111) silicon and (0001) GaN. By varying the size of the Ni/Au catalyst, we found that the catalyst size has a negligible influence on the growth orientation of GaN NWs. All these demonstrate that the growth orientation of the GaN NWs is dominated by the flow rate of the precursor, regardless of the catalyst size and the substrate adopted. Moreover, the optical properties of GaN NWs were characterized using micro-photoluminescence, revealing that the observed red luminescence band (near 660 nm) is related to the lateral growth of the GaN NWs. The work presented here will advance the understanding of the VLS process of GaN NWs and represents a step forward towards controllable GaN NW growth.