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  • Nano Express
  • Open Access

Kinetics of growth of nanowhiskers (nanowires and nanotubes)

Nanoscale Research Letters20072:235

Received: 3 January 2007

Accepted: 13 March 2007

Published: 1 May 2007


The kinetics of nanowhiskers growth is studied theoretically taking into account the adatom diffusion from the surface to the top of needle. An exponential growth with time is expected for the initial stages of the process, when the lengthl of the whisker is smaller than the average diffusion length λ of adatoms. It transforms to linear growth rate forl > λ. The formation of nanotubes with a hollow core dislocation is explained by accounting for the role of the stress in the middle of screw dislocations. When the magnitude of the Burgers vector exceeds a critical value, it is energetically more favorable to remove the highly strained material around the dislocation line and to create a tube with an additional free surface. Additionally, there is an important size effect, due to the small radiusR of the nanowhisker. The interplay, between the contributions from the size effects and from the diffusion, explains why for the very thin nanowhiskers the lengthl is proportional to the radiusR while, otherwise the length is inversely proportional to it, i.e.,l1/R.


  • Nanotubes
  • Nanowires
  • Nanowhiskers




The support of the EU Project INTERCONY, Contract no NMP4-CT-2006-033200 is appreciated.

Authors’ Affiliations

Institute of Physical Chemistry, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria


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© to the authors 2007