Polarity assignment in ZnTe, GaAs, ZnO, and GaN-AlN nanowires from direct dumbbell analysis

Maria De La Mata, Cesar Magen, Jaume Gazquez, Muhammad Iqbal Bakti Utama, Martin Heiss, Sergei Lopatin, Florian Furtmayr, Carlos J. Fernández-Rojas, Bo Peng, Joan Ramon Morante, Riccardo Rurali, Martin Eickhoff, Anna Fontcuberta I Morral, Qihua Xiong, Jordi Arbiol*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

157 Scopus citations


Aberration corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) with high angle annular dark field (HAADF) imaging and the newly developed annular bright field (ABF) imaging are used to define a new guideline for the polarity determination of semiconductor nanowires (NWs) from binary compounds in two extreme cases: (i) when the dumbbell is formed with atoms of similar mass (GaAs) and (ii) in the case where one of the atoms is extremely light (N or O: ZnO and GaN/AlN). The theoretical fundaments of these procedures allow us to overcome the main challenge in the identification of dumbbell polarity. It resides in the separation and identification of the constituent atoms in the dumbbells. The proposed experimental via opens new routes for the fine characterization of nanostructures, e.g., in electronic and optoelectronic fields, where the polarity is crucial for the understanding of their physical properties (optical and electronic) as well as their growth mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2579-2586
Number of pages8
JournalNano Letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 9 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • ABF
  • Dumbbell
  • STEM
  • annular bright field
  • high angle annular dark field
  • polarity
  • scanning transmission electron microscopy
  • semiconductor nanowires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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