Nanowires have emerged as a promising platform for the development of novel and high-quality heterostructures at large lattice misfit, inaccessible in a thin film configuration. However, despite core-shell nanowires allowing a very efficient elastic release of the misfit strain, the growth of highly uniform arrays of nanowire heterostructures still represents a challenge, for example due to a strain-induced bending morphology. Here we investigate the bending of wurtzite GaP/In x Ga1-xP core-shell nanowires using transmission electron microscopy and energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy, both in terms of geometric and compositional asymmetry with respect to the longitudinal axis. We compare the experimental data with finite element method simulations in three dimensions, showing that both asymmetries are responsible for the actual bending. Such findings are valid for all lattice-mismatched core-shell nanowire heterostructures based on ternary alloys. Our work provides a quantitative understanding of the bending effect in general while also suggesting a strategy to minimise it.
- semiconductor nanowire