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Nanowire research is a new and emerging field growing at a fast pace. The excitement in this field is due to the unique electronic and optical properties of the nanowires. The unique properties stem from their large surface to volume ratio, very high aspect ratio, and carrier and photon confinement in two dimensions. Novel nanowire-based electronic and photonic devices with superior performance over existing devices are expected to revolutionise our technological world in the way of new devices and components.
In this project, the fundamental growth mechanisms of semiconductor nanowires are investigated. The 1-dimensional anisotropic growths are conducted in the Metal Organic Chemical Vapour Deposition reactor either by (i) the vapour-liquid-solid (VLS) mechanism using nm-sized gold particles, (ii) selective area growth and (iii) self-catalysed growth. The many advantages of this technique include the ability to grow well-aligned nanowires, radial (core-shell) and axial heterostructures and even branched nanowires. The control and understanding of the growth mechanism are very important as this will pave the way for developing new technologies and applications based on nanowires. In addition, there is a great potential for fundamental discoveries in 1-D quantum confined structures.