Catalyst-free growth of Bi2Te3 nanostructures by molecular beam epitaxy

We present the catalyst-free growth of binary Bi2Te3 topological insulator nanostructures on c-plane sapphire substrates by molecular beam epitaxy. Dense arrays of single-crystalline nanostructures, growing along the [110] direction, are obtained for substrate temperatures ranging from ∼180 °C to 260 °C. The growth rate and shape of the nanostructures are highly temperature-dependent. The microscopic study of the nanostructures and their relationship to the underlying Bi2Te3 thin film gives an insight into the growth mechanism.

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