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Progress in ultrafast terahertz (THz) communications has been limited due to the lack of picosecond switchable modulators with sufficient modulation depth. Gallium arsenide nanowires are ideal candidates for THz modulators as they absorb THz radiation, only when photoexcited – giving the potential for picosecend speed switching and high modulation depth. By embedding the nanowires in a polymer matrix and laminating together several nanowire–polymer films, we increase the areal density of nanowires, resulting in greater modulation of THz radiation. In this paper, we compare PDMS and Parylene C polymers for nanowire encapsulation and show that a high modulation depth is possible using Parylene C due to its thinness and its ability to be laminated. We characterize the modulator behavior and switching speed using optical pump–THz probe spectroscopy, and demonstrate a parylene–nanowire THz modulator with 13.5% modulation depth and 1ps switching speed.
To observe the axial growth behavior of InAs on GaAs nanowires, InAs was grown for different growth durations on GaAs nanowires using Au nanoparticles. Through transmission electron microscopy, we have observed the following evolution steps for the InAs growth. (1) In the initial stages of the InAs growth, InAs cluster into a wedge shape preferentially at an edge of the Au/GaAs interface by minimizing Au/InAs interfacial area; (2) with further growth of InAs, the Au particles move sidewards and then downwards by preserving an interface with GaAs nanowire sidewalls. The lower interfacial energy of Au/GaAs than that of Au/InAs is attributed to be the reason for such Au movement. This downward movement of Au nanoparticle later terminates when the nanoparticle encounters InAs growing radially on the GaAs nanowire sidewalls, and with further supply of In and As vapor reactants, the Au nanoparticles assist the formation of InAs branches. These observations give some insights of vapor-liquid-solid growth and the kinks formation in nanowire heterostructures.
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