Pressure-driven phase transitions and reduction of dimensionality in 2D silicon nanosheets

Gil Chan Hwang, Douglas A. Blom, Thomas Vogt, Jaejun Lee, Heon Jin Choi, Sen Shao, Yanming Ma, Yongjae Lee

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9 Citations (Scopus)


In-situ high-pressure synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction studies up to 21 GPa of CVD-grown silicon 2D-nanosheets establish that the structural phase transitions depend on size and shape. For sizes between 9.3(7) nm and 15.2(8) nm we observe an irreversible phase transition sequence from I (cubic) → II (tetragonal) → V (hexagonal) during pressure increase and during decompression below 8 GPa the emergence of an X-ray amorphous phase. High-angle annular dark field scanning transmission electron microscopy (HAADF-STEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) images of this X-ray amorphous phase reveal the formation of significant numbers of 1D nanowires with aspect ratios > 10, which are twinned and grow along the <111> direction. We discovered a reduction of dimensionality under pressure from a 2D morphology to a 1D wire in a material with a diamond structure. MD simulations indicate the reduction of thermal conductivity in such nanowires.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5412
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Dec 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Leader Researcher program (NRF-2018R1A3B1052042) of the Korean Ministry of Science, ICT and Planning (MSIP). D.B and T.V. thank the VPR at the University of South Carolina for support operating the JEOL-2100F STEM. We also thank the support of the Korean NRF grants 2016K1A4A3914691 and 2016K1A3A7A09005244. S.S. and Y.M. are supported by the National Natural Science Foundationof China (under Grants No.11534003), Program for JLU Science andTech-nology Innovative Research Team and Science Challenge Project(No.TZ2016001).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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