Strain relaxation mechanisms during epitaxial growth of core-shell nanostructures play a key role in determining their morphologies, crystal structure and properties. To unveil those mechanisms, we perform atomic-scale aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy studies on planar core-shell ZnSe@ZnTe nanowires on α-Al2O3 substrates. The core morphology affects the shell structure involving plane bending and the formation of low-angle polar boundaries. The origin of this phenomenon and its consequences on the electronic band structure are discussed. We further use monochromated valence electron energy-loss spectroscopy to obtain spatially resolved band-gap maps of the heterostructure with sub-nanometer spatial resolution. A decrease in band-gap energy at highly strained core-shell interfacial regions is found, along with a switch from direct to indirect band-gap. These findings represent an advance in the sub-nanometer-scale understanding of the interplay between structure and electronic properties associated with highly mismatched semiconductor heterostructures, especially with those related to the planar growth of heterostructured nanowire networks.

Sub-nanometer mapping of strain-induced band structure variations in planar nanowire core-shell heterostructures

Spadaro M. C.;
2022-01-01

Abstract

Strain relaxation mechanisms during epitaxial growth of core-shell nanostructures play a key role in determining their morphologies, crystal structure and properties. To unveil those mechanisms, we perform atomic-scale aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy studies on planar core-shell ZnSe@ZnTe nanowires on α-Al2O3 substrates. The core morphology affects the shell structure involving plane bending and the formation of low-angle polar boundaries. The origin of this phenomenon and its consequences on the electronic band structure are discussed. We further use monochromated valence electron energy-loss spectroscopy to obtain spatially resolved band-gap maps of the heterostructure with sub-nanometer spatial resolution. A decrease in band-gap energy at highly strained core-shell interfacial regions is found, along with a switch from direct to indirect band-gap. These findings represent an advance in the sub-nanometer-scale understanding of the interplay between structure and electronic properties associated with highly mismatched semiconductor heterostructures, especially with those related to the planar growth of heterostructured nanowire networks.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11566/308589
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