Nano Research

Article Title

Electronic properties of wurtzite GaAs: A correlated structural, optical, and theoretical analysis of the same polytypic GaAs nanowire


nanowires, crystal-phase quantum structures, wurtzite GaAs, strain, near-field scanning optical microscopy, photoluminescence


ABSTRACT III-V compound semiconductor nanowires are generally characterized by the coexistence of zincblende and wurtzite structures. So far, this polytypism has impeded the determination of the electronic properties of the metastable wurtzite phase of GaAs, which thus remain highly controversial. In an effort to obtain new insights into this topic, we cross-correlate nanoscale spectral imaging by near-field scanning optical microscopy with a transmission electron microscopy analysis of the very same polytypic GaAs nanowire dispersed onto a Si wafer. Thus, spatially resolved photoluminescence spectra could be unambiguously assigned to nanowire segments whose structure is known with lattice-resolved accuracy. An emission energy of 1.528 eV was observed from extended zincblende segments, revealing that the dispersed nanowire was under uniaxial strain presumably due to interaction with its supporting substrate. These crucial information and the emission energy obtained for extended pure wurtzite segments were used to perform envelope function calculations of zincblende quantum disks in a wurtzite matrix as well as the inverse structure. In these calculations, we varied the fundamental bandgap, the electron mass, and the band offset between zincblende and wurtzite GaAs. From this multi-parameter comparison with the experimental data, we deduced that the bandgap between the Γ8 conduction and A valence band ranges from 1.532 to 1.539 eV in strain-free wurtzite GaAs, and estimated values of 1.507 to 1.514 eV for the Γ7–A bandgap.

Graphical Abstract


Tsinghua University Press