We demonstrate that optical second harmonic generation (SHG) can be utilized to determine the exact nature of nanotwins in noncentrosymmetric crystals, which is challenging to resolve via conventional transmission electron or scanned probe microscopies. Using single-crystalline nanotwinned CdTe nanobelts and nanowires as a model system, we show that SHG polarimetry can distinguish between upright (Cd-Te bonds) and inverted (Cd-Cd or Te-Te bonds) twin boundaries in the system. Inverted twin boundaries are generally not reported in nanowires due to the lack of techniques and complexity associated with the study of the nature of such defects. Precise characterization of the nature of defects in nanocrystals is required for deeper understanding of their growth and physical properties to enable their application in future devices.
- crystal structure
- nonlinear optics
- Second harmonic generation
- transmission electron microscope
- twin boundary