III-V semiconductor multi-quantum-well nanowires (MQW NWs) via selective-area epitaxy (SAE) is of great importance for the development of nanoscale light-emitting devices for applications such as optical communication, silicon photonics, and quantum computing. To achieve highly efficient light-emitting devices, not only the high-quality materials but also a deep understanding of their growth mechanisms and material properties (structural, optical, and electrical) are extremely critical. In particular, the three-dimensional growth mechanism of MQWs embedded in a NW structure by SAE is expected to be different from that of those grown in a planar structure or with a catalyst and has not yet been thoroughly investigated. In this work, we reveal a distinctive radial growth evolution of InGaAs/InP MQW NWs grown by the SAE metal organic vapor-phase epitaxy (MOVPE) technique. We observe the formation of zinc blende (ZB) QW discs induced by the axial InGaAs QW growth on the wurtzite (WZ) base-InP NW and propose it as the key factor driving the overall structure of radial growth. The role of the ZB-to-WZ change in the driving of the overall growth evolution is supported by a growth formalism, taking into account the formation-energy difference between different facets. Despite a polytypic crystal structure with mixed ZB and WZ phases across the MQW region, the NWs exhibit high uniformity and desirable QW spatial layout with bright room-temperature photoluminescence at an optical communication wavelength of ∼1.3 μm, which is promising for the future development of high-efficiency light-emitting devices.
- growth mechanism
- III-V compound semiconductors
- InGaAs/InP quantum wells
- selective-area epitaxy