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Single crystal InSb nanowires: synthesis, characterization, properties and applications

Q.L. Ye, T. Yamada, H. Liu, N. Mingo, R.H. Scheffler, R.L. Leverenz and H. Yamada
Eloret / NASA Ames Research Center, US

Keywords:
InSb nanowires, single crystal, thermoelectric application

Abstract:
One-dimensional III-V compound semiconductor nanomaterials are an important class of materials that possess unique structures, remarkable properties, and great potential in various applications. While there are a number of reports in literature on GaAs, GaN, InP, InAs, and their related super lattice nanowires, the studies on InSb nanowires are very rare. We report here the first large-scale controlled synthesis of single crystal InSb nanowires using vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) transport process and metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) method. Through the investigation of various growth conditions, we have found out a very narrow growth window for producing single crystal InSb nanowires repetitively and in large scales. Our batch fabricated InSb nanowires are 50-180 nm in diameter and 10-30 micron in length. In this paper, we will address the growth issues in detail and reveal some secrets of achieving structural, diameter, and length control of these InSb nanowires. We are currently investigating this type of single crystal InSb nanowires for their potential applications as thermoelectric nanomaterials in energy efficient solid-state refrigeration and power generation applications. Thermoelectric properties of the InSb nanowires are being evaluated for enhancement of thermoelectric figure of merit. Preliminary prototype thermoelectric nano coolers and nano power generators device design and fabrication considerations will be presented.

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