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Nano Lett. 2009 Jan;9(1):257-63. doi: 10.1021/nl802840w.

Photoluminescence, thermal transport, and breakdown in joule-heated GaN nanowires.

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  • 1Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, California 94550, and Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87185, USA.


Thermal transport and breakdown in Joule-heated GaN nanowires is investigated using a combination of microphotoluminescence and in situ TEM characterization. The thermal conductivity of the nanowires is estimated to be <80 W/m.K, which is substantially below the bulk GaN value. Catastrophic breakdown in individual nanowires is observed to occur at a maximum temperature of approximately 1000 K, and nanowire morphology near the breakdown region indicates that failure occurs via thermal decomposition, a conclusion that is validated by in situ TEM images obtained during the failure process.

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