Rational design and synthesis of nanowires with increasingly complex structures can yield enhanced and/or novel electronic and photonic functions1,2. For example, Ge/Si core/shell nanowires have exhibited substantially higher performance as field-effect transistors3 and low-temperature quantum devices4,5 compared with homogeneous materials, and nano-roughened Si nanowires were recently shown to have an unusually high thermoelectric figure of merit6. Here, we report the first multi-quantum-well (MQW) core/shell nanowire heterostructures based on well-defined III-nitride materials that enable lasing over a broad range of wavelengths at room temperature. Transmission electron microscopy studies show that the triangular GaN nanowire cores enable epitaxial and dislocation-free growth of highly uniform (InGaN/GaN)n quantum wells with n=3, 13 and 26 and InGaN well thicknesses of 1–3 nm. Optical excitation of individual MQW nanowire structures yielded lasing with InGaN quantum-well composition-dependent emission from 365 to 494 nm, and threshold dependent on quantum well number, n. Our work demonstrates a new level of complexity in nanowire structures, which potentially can yield free-standing injection nanolasers.
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The authors thank C. J. Barrelet and Y. N. Wu for helpful discussions, P. Stadelmann for providing JEMS simulation software, R. Schalek for help with ultramicrotomy and A. J. Garratt-Reed for assistance in EDS elemental mapping measurements. This work was supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (C.M.L.) and the Department of Energy Basic Energy Sciences, DE-FG02-07ER46394, (Z.L.W.).
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Qian, F., Li, Y., Gradečak, S. et al. Multi-quantum-well nanowire heterostructures for wavelength-controlled lasers. Nature Mater 7, 701–706 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1038/nmat2253
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