High Temperature self-assembly of Ag nanowires on vicinal Si(001)
We have used low energy electron microscopy (LEEM) and photo emission electron microscopy (PEEM) to study the high temperature (620 °C) self-assembly of Ag nanowires on vicinal Si(001), miscut 4° in the  direction. After formation of an initial wetting layer, growth of wire-like structures proceeds with subsequent deposition. Simultaneously, compact islands form and the nanowires comprise only a minority of the total Ag deposit. The wires display quasi-one-dimensional behaviour as their length is observed to increase while their width remains constant. The lengths of the wires can be controlled and we have routinely grown wires longer than 100 µm. A kinetically limiting process, wherein mass transport is suppressed in the direction normal to the direction of elongation, is identified as a contributor to the growth of the nanowires.
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