The Plateau–Rayleigh instability was first proposed in the mid-1800s to describe how a column of water breaks apart into droplets to lower its surface tension. This instability was later generalized to account for the constant volume rearrangement of various one-dimensional liquid and solid materials. Here, we report a growth phenomenon that is unique to one-dimensional materials and exploits the underlying physics of the Plateau–Rayleigh instability. We term the phenomenon Plateau–Rayleigh crystal growth and demonstrate that it can be used to grow periodic shells on one-dimensional substrates. Specifically, we show that for certain conditions, depositing Si onto uniform-diameter Si cores, Ge onto Ge cores and Ge onto Si cores can generate diameter-modulated core–shell nanowires. Rational control of deposition conditions enables tuning of distinct morphological features, including diameter-modulation periodicity and amplitude and cross-sectional anisotropy. Our results suggest that surface energy reductions drive the formation of periodic shells, and that variation in kinetic terms and crystal facet energetics provide the means for tunability.
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The authors thank A. Graham for assistance with electron microscopy. R.W.D. acknowledges a Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation (NSF). M.N.M. acknowledges a Fannie and John Hertz Foundation Graduate Fellowship and an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. R.G. acknowledges the support of a Japan Student Services Organization Graduate Research Fellowship. Y-S.N. acknowledges support for this work by the TJ Park Science Fellowship. C.M.L. acknowledges support of this research by a Department of Defense, National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowships (N00244-09-1-0078) award and from Abengoa Solar New Technologies SA. H.-G.P. acknowledges support by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIP) (no. 2009-0081565). S-K.K. acknowledges support of this work by the Basic Science Research Program through the NRF funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (NRF-2013R1A1A1059423). This work was performed in part at the Center for Nanoscale Systems (CNS), a member of the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN), which is supported by the NSF under award no. ECS-0335765. CNS is part of Harvard University.
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Day, R., Mankin, M., Gao, R. et al. Plateau–Rayleigh crystal growth of periodic shells on one-dimensional substrates. Nature Nanotech 10, 345–352 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2015.23
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