[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Semiconducting Ba6−3x
Ti18O54 ceramics (with x = 0.00 to 0.85) were synthesized by the mixed oxide route followed by annealing in a reducing atmosphere; their high-temperature thermoelectric properties have been investigated. In conjunction with the experimental observations, atomistic simulations have been performed to investigate the anisotropic behavior of the lattice thermal conductivity. The ceramics show promising n-type thermoelectric properties with relatively high Seebeck coefficient, moderate electrical conductivity, and temperature-stable, low thermal conductivity; For example, the composition with x = 0.27 (i.e., Ba5.19Nd8.54Ti18O54) exhibited a Seebeck coefficient of S
1000K = 210 µV/K, electrical conductivity of σ
1000K = 60 S/cm, and thermal conductivity of k
1000K = 1.45 W/(m K), leading to a ZT value of 0.16 at 1000 K.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of Electronic Materials
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Herein, we report the formation of multi-segment Si-Ge axial heterostructure nanowires in a wet chemical synthetic approach. These nanowires are grown by the liquid injection of the respective silicon and germanium precursors into the vapour phase of an organic solvent in which a tin-coated stainless steel substrate is placed. The Si-Ge transition is obtained by sequential injection with the more difficult Ge-Si transition enabled by inclusion of a quench sequence in the reaction. This approach allows for alternating between pure Si and pure Ge segments along the entire nanowire length with very good control of the respec-tive segment dimensions. The multi-segment heterostructure nanowires presented are Ge-Si, Si-Ge-Si, Ge-Si-Ge, Si-Ge-Si-Ge and Si-Ge-Si-Ge-Si-Ge. The interfacial abruptness of the Ge to Si interface is also determined through the use of aberration corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy and electron energy loss spectroscopy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The microstructure of semi-polar (11-22) GaN templates grown on pre-structured r-plane sapphire by MOVPE has been characterized by TEM. Cross-sectional observations indicate that defects are generated in three regions of the layers: threading dislocations at the inclined GaN/sapphire interface, basal plane stacking faults (BSFs) at the c--wing, BSFs and threading dislocations at the coalescence between neighboring GaN stripes. An in situ SiN interlayer deposited at an early stage of the growth is shown to be effective in blocking the propagation of dislocations, which is mainly attributed to SiN formed on the c-plane rather than on the (11-22) plane. Si-doped marker layers have been used to study the evolution of the growth front before coalescence as a function of temperature. A high growth temperature is associated with the formation of highly faceted GaN stripes. Dislocations originally running along the c-direction are bent to the [11-20] direction driven by a progressing (11-22) facet. An efficient defect reduction is realized as a result of terminating these dislocations at voids partially defined by the (11-20) facet.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although Li- and Mn-rich transition metal oxides have been extensively studied as high-capacity cathode materials for Li-ion batteries, the crystal structure of these materials in their pristine state is not yet fully understood. Here we apply complementary electron microscopy and spectroscopy techniques at multi-length scale on well-formed Li 1.2 (Ni 0.13 Mn 0.54 Co 0.13)O 2 crystals with two different morphologies as well as two commercially available materials with similar compositions, and unambiguously describe the structural make-up of these samples. Systematically observing the entire primary particles along multiple zone axes reveals that they are consistently made up of a single phase, save for rare localized defects and a thin surface layer on certain crystallographic facets. More specifically, we show the bulk of the oxides can be described as an aperiodic crystal consisting of randomly stacked domains that correspond to three variants of monoclinic structure, while the surface is composed of a Co- and/or Ni-rich spinel with antisite defects.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Nature Communications
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Atomic resolution imaging and narrow-energy spread spectroscopy in aberration corrected (scanning) transmission electron microscopes, in combination with DFT modelling has made it possible to uncover atomic-scale morphology, defect constellations, lattice impurities and ad-atoms in nano-materials, as well as revealing their influence on the surrounding bandstructure. Using atomic-scale imaging, EEL spectroscopy and EFTEM, we address issues beyond the more common investigations of their atomic lattice structure. We focus on the demonstration of (i) ripples in graphene and on effects of (ii) metal ad-atoms as well as of (iii) controllably introduced impurities -via low energy ion implantation- in both, graphene and carbon nanotubes, on the electronic band structure. We demonstrate the creation of a new feature with collective charge carrier behaviour (plasmon) in the UV/vis range in graphene and carbon nanotubes via EEL spectrum imaging and EFTEM, and support this with dielectric theory modelling.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Journal of Physics Conference Series
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A combination of scanning transmission electron microscopy, electron energy loss spectroscopy, and ab initio calculations is used to describe the electronic structure modifications incurred by free-standing graphene through two types of single-atom doping. The N K and C K electron energy loss transitions show the presence of π* bonding states, which are highly localised around the N dopant. In contrast the B K transition of a single B dopant atom shows an unusual broad asymmetric peak which is the result of delocalised σ* states away from the B dopant. The asymmetry of the B K towards higher energies is attributed to highly-localised σ* anti-bonding states. These experimental observations are then interpreted as direct fingerprints of the expected p- and n-type behaviour of graphene doped in this fashion, through careful comparison with density functional theory calculations.σ.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The location of Co and Ni promoter atoms in industrial-style hydrotreating catalysts is examined by combining aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy and electron energy loss spectrum imaging. The observations unambiguously demonstrate that both Co and Ni promoter atoms occupy sites at all low-indexed edge terminations of hexagonally shaped multi-layer MoS2 nanocrystals. In contrast, similar observations for single-layer MoS2 nanocrystals show that Co-promoter atoms preferentially attach at the (-1 0 0) S-edge termination and are absent at the (1 0 0) Mo-edge termination. The apparent discrepancy between single- and multi-layer MoS2 nanocrystals can be explained by the 2H-MoS2 crystal structure, for which successive MoS2 layers alternatingly expose Mo- and S-edge terminations in any of the low-indexed directions. Thus, the multi-layer Co-Mo-S and Ni-Mo-S nanocrystals, formed in the present type of industrial-style hydrotreating catalyst, are consistently described as a superposition of single-layer Co-Mo-S and Ni-Mo-S structures, and in turn, provide promoted edge sites with different steric accessibility for the organic compounds in mineral oil distillates.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Controlling the growth of eutectic Si and thereby modifying the eutectic Si from flake-like to fibrous is a key factor in improving the properties of Al-Si alloys. To date, it is generally accepted that the impurity-induced twinning (IIT) mechanism and the twin plane re-entrant edge (TPRE) mechanism as well as poisoning of the TPRE mechanism are valid under certain conditions. However, IIT, TPRE or poisoning of the TPRE mechanism cannot be used to interpret all observations. Here, we report an atomic-scale experimental and theoretical investigation on the roles of Eu during the growth of eutectic Si in Al-Si alloys. Both experimental and theoretical investigations reveal three different roles: (i) the adsorption at the intersection of Si facets, inducing IIT mechanism, (ii) the adsorption at the twin plane re-entrant edge, inducing TPRE mechanism or poisoning of the TPRE mechanism, and (iii) the segregation ahead of the growing Si twins, inducing a solute entrainment within eutectic Si. This investigation not only demonstrates a direct experimental support to the well-accepted poisoning of the TPRE and IIT mechanisms, but also provides a full picture about the roles of Eu atoms during the growth of eutectic Si, including the solute entrainment within eutectic Si.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have applied density functional theory and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy to investigate the relationship between chemically induced strain and charge transfer on the structural, electronic, vibrational, and thermoelectric properties of misfit layered cobaltites (M2CoO3)0.6CoO2 (M = Mg, Ca, Sr, Ba). The electron and phonon density of states are analyzed and rationalized by accounting for the effects of internal strain and charge transfer, and lay the foundations to disentangle these effects on a promising thermoelectric oxide material. We found that the choice of different interlayer cations has little effect on the magnetic properties, but it generates internal strain between the rock-salt M2CoO3 and hexagonal CoO2 subsystems, changing the hybridization of the cations with the environment. Increasing the mass of the cation leads to decoupling of the vibrations between the rock-salt and CoO2 subsystems so that heavier cations are predicted to enhance phonon scattering. On the other hand, applying compressive strain to the system, which corresponds to doping with smaller interlayer cations, is shown to enhance the Seebeck coefficient. The calculations suggest that thermoelectric efficiency of misfit layered cobaltites may be tuned by codoping the rock-salt layer with isovalent alkali earth cations.
No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · The Journal of Physical Chemistry C
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Researchers have demonstrated that BiFeO3 exhibits ferroelectric hysteresis but none have shown a strong ferromagnetic response in either bulk or thin film without significant structural or compositional modification. When remanent magnetisations are observed in BiFeO3 based thin films, iron oxide second phases are often detected. Using aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy, atomic resolution electron energy loss spectrum-mapping and quantitative energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy analysis, we reveal the existence of a new Fe2O3-rich perovskite nanophase, with an approximate formula (Fe0.6Bi0.25Nd0.15)3+Fe3+O3, formed within epitaxial Ti and Nd doped BiFeO3 perovskite films grown by pulsed laser deposition. The incorporation of Nd and Bi ions on the A-site and coherent growth with the matrix stabilise the Fe2O3-rich perovskite phase and preliminary density functional theory calculations suggest that it should have a ferrimagnetic response. Perovskite-structured Fe2O3 has been reported previously but never conclusively proven when fabricated at high-pressure high-temperature. This work suggests the incorporation of large A-site species may help stabilise perovskite-structured Fe2O3. This finding is therefore significant not only to the thin film but also to the high-pressure community.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Scientific Reports
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ability to control the properties of electrical contacts to nanostructures is essential to realize operational nanodevices. Here, we show that the electrical behavior of the nanocontacts between free-standing ZnO nanowires and the catalytic Au particle used for their growth can switch from Schottky to Ohmic depending on the size of the Au particles in relation to the cross-sectional width of the ZnO nanowires. We observe a distinct Schottky-to-Ohmic transition in transport behavior at an Au-to-nanowire diameter ratio of 0.6. The current-voltage electrical measurements performed with a multi-probe instrument are explained using 3-D self-consistent electrostatic and transport simulations revealing that tunneling at the contact edge is the dominant carrier transport mechanism for these nanoscale contacts. The results are applicable to other nanowire materials such as Si, GaAs, and InAs when the effects of surface charge and contact size are considered.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transition metal dichalcogenides have a laminar structure, with strongly covalently bonded layers weakly interacting through van der Waals forces. They are of special interest also because of their unique properties once exfoliated in nanoflakes. We analyse the microstructure of oxidised TiS2 nanoflakes with atomically resolved scanning transmission electron microscopy and propose a comprehensive model for their reactivity by means of first principles simulations. In particular we find that reaction to water proceeds from the edges of the flake, while it is thermodynamically possible but kinetically hindered in the middle, unless it is initiated by the presence of a surface vacancy. Importantly O substitution for S allows fine tuning control of the flake bandgap, paving the way for the use of TiS(2-x)Ox alloys as surface catalysts and photovoltaic materials.
No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · The Journal of Physical Chemistry C
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Here we demonstrate the production of large quantities of gallium sulfide (GaS) nanosheets by liquid exfoliation of layered GaS powder. The exfoliation was achieved by sonication of the powder in suitable solvents. The variation of dispersed concentration with solvent was consistent with classical solution thermodynamics and showed successful solvents to be those with Hildebrand solubility parameters close to 21.5 MPa1/2. In this way, nanosheets could be produced at concentrations of up to ~0.2 mg/ml with lateral sizes and thicknesses of 50-1000 nm and 3-80 layers, respectively. The nanosheets appeared to be relatively defect free although oxygen was observed in the vicinity of the edges. Using controlled centrifugation techniques, it was possible to prepare dispersions containing size-selected nanosheets. Spectroscopic measurements showed the optical properties of the dispersions to vary strongly with nanosheet size, allowing the elucidation of spectroscopic metrics for in-situ estimation of nanosheet size and thickness. These techniques allow the production of nanosheets with controlled sizes which will be important for certain applications. To demonstrate this, we prepared films of GaS nanosheets of three different sizes for use as hydrogen evolution electrocatalysts. We found a clear correlation between performance and size showing small nanosheets to be more effective. This is consistent with the catalytically active sites residing on the nanosheet edges.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Chemistry of Materials