Insitu observations of endotaxial growth of CoSi2 nanowires on Si(110) using ultrahigh vacuum transmission electron microscopy

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We report insitu observations of the growth of endotaxial CoSi2 nanowires on Si(110) using an ultrahigh vacuum transmission electron microscope with a miniature electron-beam deposition system located above the pole-piece of the objective lens. Metal deposition at 750-850 °C results in formation of coherently strained silicide nanowires with a fixed length/width (L/W) aspect ratio that depends strongly on temperature. Both dimensions evolve with time as L, W ∼ t1/3. To explain this behavior, we propose a fixed-shape growth mode based on thermally activated facet-dependent reactions. A second growth mode is also observed at 850 °C, with dimensions that evolve as L ∼ t and W ∼ constant. This mode is accompanied by formation of an array of dislocations. We expect that other endotaxial nanowire systems will follow coherently strained growth modes with similar geometrical constraints, as well as dislocated growth modes with different growth kinetics. © 2011 IOP Publishing Ltd.