Nanoscale manipulation of Ge nanowires by ion hammering Page: 3 of 22
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Nanowires generated considerable interest as nanoscale interconnects and as active
components of both electronic and electromechanical devices. However, in many cases,
manipulation and modification of nanowires are required to realize their full potential. It is
essential, for instance, to control the orientation and positioning of nanowires in some specific
applications. This work demonstrates a simple method to reversibly control the shape and the
orientation of Ge nanowires by using ion beams. Initially, crystalline nanowires were
partially amorphized by 30 keV Ga+-implantation. After amorphization, viscous flow and
plastic deformation occurred due to the ion hammering effect, causing the nanowires to bend
toward the beam direction. The bending was reversed multiple times by ion-implanting the
opposite side of the nanowires, resulting in straightening of the nanowires and subsequent
bending in the opposite direction. This ion hammering effect demonstrates the detailed
manipulation of nanoscale structures is possible through the use of ion irradiation.
Crystalline Si and Ge nanowires (NWs) can be grown by vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) epitaxy
with Au catalyst nanoparticles (see Figure l.a-b) resulting in pillars with nanometer-scale diameters
and high aspect ratios . The NWs exhibit exceptional mechanical and electrical properties that
are attractive for a variety of applications [2-7]. However, manipulation and modification of NWs is
required for many applications. It is highly desirable to be able to manipulate the orientation of
either individual NWs or an entire surface covered with NWs. This work investigates the
application of ion beam processing as a new method of controllably and reversibly manipulating the
orientation of a nanowire after it has been grown.
The damage from ion irradiation is usually an undesirable phenomenon unless one is
preamorphizing a material like Si prior to doping. One might expect that irradiation should have
the same detrimental effects on nanosystems as on bulk solids. But recent experiments on electron
or ion irradiation of various nanostructures demonstrate that it can have beneficial effects as well
and these results suggest that electron or ion beams may be used to tailor the structure and
properties of nanosystems with high precision . These studies suggest that ion hammering may
be used to alter surfaces. However no demonstrated effect of ion hammering on NWs has been
When an energetic ion penetrates into a solid, it loses energy mainly via two independent
processes, with the relative magnitude of each process related to the ion velocity: i) nuclear energy
loss (S~) which dominates at low energy and results from a direct transfer of kinetic energy to the
target nuclei (elastic collisions) and ii) electronic energy loss (Se) which prevails at high energy and
"Nanoscale manipulation of Ge nanowires by ion hammering" by L.Romano
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Picraux, Samuel T; Romano, Lucia; Rudawski, Nicholas G; Holzworth, Monta R; Jones, Kevin S & Choi, S G. Nanoscale manipulation of Ge nanowires by ion hammering, article, January 1, 2009; [New Mexico]. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc930479/m1/3/: accessed April 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.