Project

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Innovative Hybrid Materials at the Nanoscale

English title Innovative Hybrid Materials at the Nanoscale
Applicant Conesa Sonia
Number 139702
Funding scheme Marie Heim-Voegtlin grants
Research institution Laboratoire des matériaux semiconducteurs EPFL - STI - IMX - LMSC
Institution of higher education EPF Lausanne - EPFL
Main discipline Material Sciences
Start/End 01.02.2012 - 31.01.2014
Approved amount 218'754.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Material Sciences
Microelectronics. Optoelectronics

Keywords (3)

Material science; Hybrid nanowires; Nanotechnology

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary

Nanoscience and nanotechnology are among the branches of basic and applied science that have seen a faster development in the recent past. In general terms, we consider nanotechnology as anything having to do with understanding and manipulating materials at the nanoscale, where one million nanometers correspond to one millimeter, and one nanometer is the dimension of a chain formed by few atoms. Thus working in the nanoscale implies modifying materials with atomic precision, at the boundary of what is allowed by basic physical limitations like the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.

In the last decade, a significant progress has been made in controlling the growth and properties of low-dimensional systems such as nanowires. Nanowires are filamentary crystals with diameters ranging between few hundred and few nanometers. The small dimension of the nanowire diameter enables much more freedom in the materials combination thanks to the radial release of strain when mismatched materials are stacked on top of each other. As a result, important technological applications in very relevant fields like energy harvesting and data processing have been achieved.

Nanowires with a single composition and/or containing heterostructures formed by the combination of various materials in the same nanowire have been achieved with an astonishing degree of precision. Until now, the materials combined in nanowire-based heterostructures have been mainly restricted to materials of the same family. For example, InP barriers can be introduced in InAs nanowires to form a well-determined quantum dot. In this research project, we propose to combine different material families (Si and III/V materials) in one same nanowire. In particular we want to study and control the interface between the two materials from the structural and optoelectronic point of view. This will open new possibilities in terms of applications and fundamental science. As an example, nanowire based superlattices formed by a periodic combination of Si and III/V could lead to the reduction of the thermal conductivity while still enabling the electrical conductivity by the formation of minibands. This should enhance the thermoelectric figure of merit, thereby contributing to the conversion of thermal energy into electricity. At the same time, achieving Si islands in a III/V nanowire would enable the technology of Si based surface functionalization for sensing, by keeping the fast III{V electronics. By combining the two families of materials, we add up their functionalities and extend the domain of applications.

The challenges that we face in this research project are multifold, from the fabrication of the heterostructures to the understanding of the structural and functional properties. In this sense, the project will be fully multidisciplinary. Let us emphasize that we are proposing a material combination that is completely new and will open a new avenue for research. We believe that the applications possibilities of hybrid GaAs/Si nanowire based systems are so large (going from sensing, to quantum information technology passing through photovoltaics), that we will contribute to the foundation of a new research area in the field of nanoscale science and technology. We are convinced that our research will have a tremendous impact of how scientists look at III/V and group IV semiconductors, as they will stop in being two separate families of materials.

To be precise, the aims of the project presented here are two-fold. The first part of the present project is related to the fabrication of new quantum heterostructures by enabling the combination of compound semiconductors and silicon in form of nanowires. The second part aims to understand the novel functionality of these quantum heterostructures and design of novel nanowire device concepts for energy harvesting and information processing applications.

The results that we hope to achieve for the development of the novel type of nanoscale hybrid materials in this project are the following. In first place, we will show how to grow complex Si/GaAs nanowire based heterostructure. We will start by integrating Si on self-catalyzed GaAs nanowires and then study the structure and quality of the interface, as well as the existence of growth on the nanowire facets. Once we determine the optimal conditions for the silicon growth, we will turn back to the conditions of GaAs. In a later stage we will fabricate more complicated structures such as axial quantum wells. For completeness, radial core-shell structures will also be studied. Next, we will work on understanding the interface properties from the structural point of view and of the resulting band alignment. To be more precise, we aim to study how the manipulation of the novel Si/GaAs heterostructures and control of the associated strain can lead to an improved band alignment between the two materials. Finally, we plan to extend the synthesis methods to the InAs system to build complex heterostructures such as Si/InAs and GaAs/Si/InAs.

To summarize, this research project opens the way to design new a new world of materials with nanoscale precision, which in turn can be used in many different technological applications relevant for the challenges that the current century is facing ahead of us.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
III–V nanowire arrays: growth and light interaction
Heiss M, Russo-Averchi E, Dalmau-Mallorquí A, Tütüncüoğlu G, Matteini F, Rüffer D, Conesa-Boj S, Demichel O, Alarcon-Lladó E, Fontcuberta i Morral A (2014), III–V nanowire arrays: growth and light interaction, in Nanotechnology, 25(1), 014015-014015.
Gold-Free Ternary III-V Antimonide Nanowire Arrays on Silicon: Twin-Free down to the First Bilayer
Conesa-Boj Sonia, Kriegner Dominik, Han XL, Plissard Sebastien, Wallart Xavier, Stangl Julian, , Fontcuberta i Morral Anna and Caroff Philippe (2014), Gold-Free Ternary III-V Antimonide Nanowire Arrays on Silicon: Twin-Free down to the First Bilayer, in Nano Letters, 14, 326-332.
III-V nanowire arrays: growth and light interaction
Heiss Martin, Russo-Averchi Eleonora, Dalmau-Mallorqui Anna, Tütüncüoğlu Gozde, Matteini Federico, , Daniel Rüffer, Conesa-Boj Sonia, Demichel Olivier, Alarcon-Llado Esther, , and Fontcuberta i Morral Anna (2014), III-V nanowire arrays: growth and light interaction, in Nanotechnology, 25, 014015.
Gold-Free Ternary III–V Antimonide Nanowire Arrays on Silicon: Twin-Free down to the First Bilayer
Conesa-Boj Sònia, Kriegner Dominik, Han Xiang-Lei, Plissard Sébastien, Wallart Xavier, Stangl Julian, Fontcuberta i Morral Anna, Caroff Philippe (2013), Gold-Free Ternary III–V Antimonide Nanowire Arrays on Silicon: Twin-Free down to the First Bilayer, in Nano Letters, 14(1), 326-332.
Growth mechanisms and process window for InAs V-shaped nanoscale membranes on Si[001]
Russo-Averchi E, Dalmau-Mallorquí A, Canales-Mundet I, Tütüncüoğlu G, Alarcon-Llado E, Heiss M, Rüffer D, Conesa-Boj S, Caroff P, Fontcuberta i Morral A (2013), Growth mechanisms and process window for InAs V-shaped nanoscale membranes on Si[001], in Nanotechnology, 24(43), 435603-435603.
Three-Dimensional Magneto-Photoluminescence as a Probe of the Electronic Properties of Crystal-Phase Quantum Disks in GaAs Nanowires
Corfdir Pierre, Van Hattem Barbara, Uccelli Emanuele, Conesa-Boj Sònia, Lefebvre Pierre, Fontcuberta i Morral Anna, Phillips Richard T. (2013), Three-Dimensional Magneto-Photoluminescence as a Probe of the Electronic Properties of Crystal-Phase Quantum Disks in GaAs Nanowires, in Nano Letters, 13(11), 5303-5310.
Raman spectroscopy of self-catalyzed GaAs 1− x Sb x nanowires grown on silicon
Alarcón-Lladó Esther, Conesa-Boj Sònia, Wallart Xavier, Caroff Philippe, Fontcuberta i Morral Anna (2013), Raman spectroscopy of self-catalyzed GaAs 1− x Sb x nanowires grown on silicon, in Nanotechnology, 24(40), 405707-405707.
Self-assembled quantum dots in a nanowire system for quantum photonics
Heiss M., Fontana Y., Gustafsson A., Wüst G., Magen C., O’Regan D. D., Luo J. W., Ketterer B., Conesa-Boj S., Kuhlmann A. V., Houel J., Russo-Averchi E., Morante J. R., Cantoni M., Marzari N., Arbiol J., Zunger A., Warburton R. J., Fontcuberta i Morral A. (2013), Self-assembled quantum dots in a nanowire system for quantum photonics, in Nature Materials, 12(5), 439-444.
Exciton localization mechanisms in wurtzite/zinc-blende GaAs nanowires
Graham A. M., Corfdir P., Heiss M., Conesa-Boj S., Uccelli E., Fontcuberta i Morral A., Phillips R. T. (2013), Exciton localization mechanisms in wurtzite/zinc-blende GaAs nanowires, in Physical Review B, 87(12), 125304-125304.
Hybrid axial and radial Si-GaAs heterostructures in nanowires
Conesa-Boj Sonia, Dunand Sylvain, Russo-Averchi Eleonora, Heiss Martin, Ruffer Daniel, Wyrsch Nicolas, Ballif Cristophe and Fontcuberta i Morral Anna (2013), Hybrid axial and radial Si-GaAs heterostructures in nanowires, in Nanoscale, 5, 9633-9639.
Hybrid axial and radial Si–GaAs heterostructures in nanowires
Conesa-Boj Sonia, Dunand Sylvain, Russo-Averchi Eleonora, Heiss Martin, Ruffer Daniel, Wyrsch Nicolas, Ballif Christophe, Fontcuberta i Morral Anna (2013), Hybrid axial and radial Si–GaAs heterostructures in nanowires, in Nanoscale, 5(20), 9633-9633.
Raman spectroscopy of self-catalyzed GaAsSb nanowires grown on silicon
Alarcón-Lladó Esther, Conesa-Boj Sonia, Wallart Xavier, , Caroff Philippe and Fontcuberta i Morral Anna (2013), Raman spectroscopy of self-catalyzed GaAsSb nanowires grown on silicon, in Nanotechnology, 24, 405707.
Vertical “III–V” V-Shaped Nanomembranes Epitaxially Grown on a Patterned Si[001] Substrate and Their Enhanced Light Scattering
Conesa-Boj Sònia, Russo-Averchi Eleonora, Dalmau-Mallorqui Anna, Trevino Jacob, Pecora Emanuele F., Forestiere Carlo, Handin Alex, Ek Martin, Zweifel Ludovit, Wallenberg L. Reine, Rüffer Daniel, Heiss Martin, Troadec David, Dal Negro Luca, Caroff Philippe, Fontcuberta i Morral Anna (2012), Vertical “III–V” V-Shaped Nanomembranes Epitaxially Grown on a Patterned Si[001] Substrate and Their Enhanced Light Scattering, in ACS Nano, 6(12), 10982-10991.
Vertical “III-V” V‑Shaped Nanomembranes Epitaxially Grown on a Patterned Si[001] Substrate and Their Enhanced Light Scattering
Conesa-Boj Sonia, Russo-Averchi Eleonora, Dalmau-Mallorqui Anna, Trevino Jacob, , F. Pecora Emanuele, Forestiere Carlo, Handin Alex, Ek Martin, , Zweifel Ludovit, Wallenberg L. Reine, Rüffer Daniel, Heiss Martin, Troadec David, , Dal Negro Luca, Caroff Philippe and Fontcuberta i Morral Anna (2012), Vertical “III-V” V‑Shaped Nanomembranes Epitaxially Grown on a Patterned Si[001] Substrate and Their Enhanced Light Scattering, in ACS Nano, 6, 10982-10991.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Laboratory for Nanostructure Epitaxy and Spintronics on Silicon Italy (Europe)
- Publication
Atomic, Mesoscopic and Optical Physics Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- Publication
The Nanometer Structure Consortium at Lund University Sweden (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Photonics and Semiconductor Nanophysics Netherlands (Europe)
- Publication
Institut d'Electronique de Microélectronique et de Nanotechnologie France (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Photovoltaics and thin film electronics laboratory Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Interdisciplinary Centre for Electron Microscopy Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Materials Research Society (MRS) meeting Individual talk Synthesis and Structural Characterization of Hybrid GaAs/Si Nanowires 01.12.2013 Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America Conesa Sonia;
International conference on one-dimensional nanomaterials Poster Synthesis and Structural Characterization of Hybrid Axial and Radial Si/GaAs Heterostructures in Nanowires 23.09.2013 Annecy, France Conesa Sonia;
7th Nanowire Growth Workshop Individual talk Hybrid GaAs/Si Nanowires 10.06.2013 EPFL, Switzerland Conesa Sonia;
18th Microscopy of Semi-Conducting Materials (MSM XVIII) Poster Epitaxial InAs V-Shaped Nanomembranes on a Patterned Si[001] Substrate: nucleation, orientations and crystal structures 07.04.2013 Oxford, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Conesa Sonia;
18th Microscopy of Semi-Conducting Materials (MSM XVIII) Poster High signal-to-noise ratio EDX analysis as a probe of nanoscale structures 07.04.2013 Oxford, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Conesa Sonia;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Talks/events/exhibitions The SNSF Research Day at EPFL 2012 Western Switzerland 2012

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
144954 Cryogen-free scanning confocal microscopy for direct-correlation between structure and function. 01.05.2013 R'EQUIP

Abstract

Nanowires are filamentary crystals with diameters ranging between few hundred and few nanometers. Nanowires with a single composition and/or containing heterostructures formed by the combination of various materials in the same nanowire have been achieved with an astonishing degree of precision. Thanks to their small diameter, they enable the integration of mismatched materials without the formation or misfit dislocations or other defects. In this project, we propose to combine two different material families, Si and GaAs, in one same hybrid nanowire. In particular, we want to study and control the interface between the two materials from the structural and optoelectronic point of view. This project is rooted on previous results that show that Ga can be used for both the growth of GaAs and Si nanowires. Such hybrid nanowires have the potential to become building blocks of innovative nanoscale devices with applications from energy harvesting to information processing.
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