Semiconducting nanowires are emerging as a route to combine heavily mismatched materials. The high level of control on wire dimensions and chemical composition makes them promising materials to be integrated in future silicon technologies as well as to be the active element in optoelectronic devices.
This ar ticle reviews the recent progress in epitaxial growth of nanowires on non-corresponding substrates. We highlight the advantage of using small dimensions to facilitate accommodation of the lattice strain at the surface of the structures. More specifically, we will focus on the growth of III-V nanowires on Group IV substrates. This approach enables the integration of high-perform ance III-V semiconductors monolithically into mature silicon technology, since fundamental issues of III-V integration on Si such as lattice and thermal expansion mismatch can be overcome. Moreover, as there will only be one nucleation site per crystallite, the system will not suffer from antiphase boundaries.
Issues that affect the electronic properties of the heterojunction, such as the crystallographic quality and diffusion of elements across the heterointerface, will be discussed. Finally, we address potential applications of vertical III-V nanowires grown on silicon.