Raman scattering as a probe of phonon confinement and surface optical modes in semiconducting nanowires

Kofi W. Adu, Q. Xiong, H. R. Gutierrez, G. Chen, P. C. Eklund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Scopus citations


Raman scattering is shown to be an effective probe of optical and surface optical phonons in highly crystalline semiconducting nanowires (SNWs). We show that the confinement model of Richter et al. well describes the nanowire diameter dependence of the asymmetric broadening of the one-phonon band in Si nanowires observed at ∼520 cm-1. We also show that the use of high laser flux (∼0.1 mW/μm2) leads to a second mechanism that can asymmetrically broaden the 520 cm-1 Raman band. This broadening has nothing to do with confinement, and can qualitatively be understood in terms of inhomogeneous laser heating. A model is presented that supports this explanation. The production of SNWs via the vapor-liquid-solid growth mechanism leads, in many cases, to an instability in the nanowire diameter or cross-sectional area. In the second part of this review, we show that this instability activates the surface optical (SO) phonon Raman scattering. Examples of this phenomenon are shown for GaP and ZnS nanowires. The former and latter have, respectively, cylindrical and rectangular cross sections. We show that the cross-sectional shape of the nanowire is important for a quantitative analysis of these SO modes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-297
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Physics A: Materials Science and Processing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science


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