Direct measurement of dopant distribution in an individual vapour-liquid-solid nanowire

Daniel E. Perea, Eric R. Hemesath, Edwin J. Schwalbach, Jessica L. Lensch-Falk, Peter W. Voorhees, Lincoln J. Lauhon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

376 Scopus citations


Semiconductor nanowires show promise for many device applications, but controlled doping with electronic and magnetic impurities remains an important challenge. Limitations on dopant incorporation have been identified in nanocrystals, raising concerns about the prospects for doping nanostructures. Progress has been hindered by the lack of a method to quantify the dopant distribution in single nanostructures. Recently, we showed that atom probe tomography can be used to determine the composition of isolated nanowires. Here, we report the first direct measurements of dopant concentrations in arbitrary regions of individual nanowires. We find that differences in precursor decomposition rates between the liquid catalyst and solid nanowire surface give rise to a heavily doped shell surrounding an underdoped core. We also present a thermodynamic model that relates liquid and solid compositions to dopant fluxes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-319
Number of pages5
JournalNature nanotechnology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Materials Science
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering


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