The mechanism of controlled integration of ZnO nanowires using pulsed-laser-induced chemical deposition
Laser-induced chemical deposition is an economical “grow-in-place” approach to produce functional materials. The lack of precise control over the component density and other properties hinders the development of the method towards an efficient nanomanufacturing technology. In this paper, we provide a mechanism of direct pulsed-laser integration of ZnO nanowire seeding and growth on silicon wafers toward controlled density. Investigation of laser-induced ZnO nucleation directly deposited on a substrate suggested that the coverage percentage of nucleus particles was a function of instantly available area, supplementing the classical nucleation theory for confined area deposition. A processing window was found in which ZnO nanowires only grew from the early deposited nucleated particles as seeds. A study on ZnO nanowire growth showed that the process became transport limited over time, which was important for density-controlled nanowire growth integrated on nucleated seeds. The proposed mechanism provided guidance to integrate nanomaterials using laser-induced chemical deposition with a controlled density and morphology.