Strain directed assembly of nanoparticle arrays within a semiconductor

C. Y. Hung, A. F. Marshall, D. K. Kim, W. D. Nix, J. S. Harris, R. A. Kiehl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The use of strain to direct the assembly of nanoparticle arrays in a semiconductor is investigated experimentally and theoretically. The process uses crystal strain produced by a surface structure and variations in layer composition to guide the formation of arsenic precipitates in a GaAs-based structure grown at low temperature by molecular beam epitaxy. Remarkable patterning effects, including the formation of single and double one-dimensional arrays with completely clear fields are achieved for particles in the 10-nm size regime at a depth of about 50 nm from the semiconductor surface. Experimental results on the time dependence of the strain patterning indicates that strain controls the late stage of the coarsening process, rather than the precipitate nucleation. Comparison of the observed particle distributions with theoretical calculations of the stress and strain distributions reveals that the precipitates form in regions of maximum strain energy, rather than near extremum points of hydrostatic stress or dilatation strain. It is therefore concluded that the patterning results from modulus differences between the particle and matrix materials rather than from other strain related effects. The results presented here should be useful for extending strain directed assembly to other materials systems and to other configurations of particles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-347
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Nanoparticle Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Elastic properties
  • Nanoparticles
  • Nanotechnology
  • Precipitation
  • Self assembly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Modeling and Simulation


Dive into the research topics of 'Strain directed assembly of nanoparticle arrays within a semiconductor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this