Effects of thermal annealing on localization and strain in core/multishell GaAs/GaNAs/GaAs nanowires (English)

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Core/shell nanowire (NW) heterostructures based on III-V semiconductors and related alloys are attractive for optoelectronic and photonic applications owing to the ability to modify their electronic structure via bandgap and strain engineering. Post-growth thermal annealing of such NWs is often involved during device fabrication and can also be used to improve their optical and transport properties. However, effects of such annealing on alloy disorder and strain in core/shell NWs are not fully understood. In this work we investigate these effects in novel core/shell/shell GaAs/GaNAs/GaAs NWs grown by molecular beam epitaxy on (111) Si substrates. By employing polarization-resolved photoluminescence measurements, we show that annealing (i) improves overall alloy uniformity due to suppressed long-range fluctuations in the N composition; (ii) reduces local strain within N clusters acting as quantum dot emitters; and (iii) leads to partial relaxation of the global strain caused by the lattice mismatch between GaNAs and GaAs. Our results, therefore, underline applicability of such treatment for improving optical quality of NWs from highly-mismatched alloys. They also call for caution when using ex-situ annealing in strain-engineered NW heterostructures. ; Funding Agencies|Swedish Energy AgencySwedish Energy Agency [P40119-1]; Swedish Research CouncilSwedish Research Council [2015-05532]; Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education (STINT) [JA2014-5698]; Swedish Government Strategic Research Area in Materials Science on Functional Materials at Linkoping University [2009 00971]; KAKENHI from the Japan Society for the Promotion of ScienceMinistry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan (MEXT)Japan Society for the Promotion of ScienceGrants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (KAKENHI) [16H05970, 23686004]; Kato Foundation for Promotion of Science; Kurata Memorial Hitachi Science and Technology Foundation; Murata Science Foundation; Linkoping University