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Synthesis and characterization of silicon-doped gallium oxide nanowires for optoelectronic UV applications


Silicon-doped gallium oxide nanowires have been synthesized by thermal methods using either a mixture of gallium oxide and silicon powders or metallic gallium with silicon powder as precursor materials. The growth mechanism has been found to be a vapour–liquid–solid (VLS) or vapour–solid (VS) process, respectively, depending on the precursor used. In the former case, silicon oxide droplets at the end of the nanowires have been observed. Their possible role during the growth of the nanostructures is discussed. Structural and morphological characterization of the doped nanowires has been performed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The results show a high crystalline quality and a uniform distribution of silicon along the nanowires. Room temperature cathodoluminescence (CL) in the SEM shows that slight variations in the composed UV–blue emission band appear due to the influence of Si impurities in the oxygen vacancy defect structure.

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This work has been supported by Spanish Ministry of Science MICINN (under CONSOLIDER CSD 2009-00013 and MAT 2009-0788 projects) and BSCH-UCM (Group 910146).

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Correspondence to Emilio Nogales.

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Díaz, J., López, I., Nogales, E. et al. Synthesis and characterization of silicon-doped gallium oxide nanowires for optoelectronic UV applications. J Nanopart Res 13, 1833–1839 (2011).

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  • Nanowire
  • Gallium oxide
  • Silicon
  • Dopant