Allotropy is a fundamental concept that has been frequently studied since the mid-1800s. Although the bulk allotropy of elemental solids is fairly well understood, it remains challenging to reliably produce an allotrope at the nanoscale that has a different crystal structure and accompanies a change in physical properties for specific applications. Here, we demonstrate a “heterostructure” approach to produce allotrope-like bismuth nanowires, where it utilizes the lattice constant difference between bismuth and tellurium in core/shell structure. We find that the resultant strain of -grown Bi nanowires increases the atomic linear density along the c-axis that has been predicted from theoretical considerations, enabling us to establish a design rule for strain-induced allotropic transformation. With our >400-nm-diameter nanowires, we measure a thermoelectric figure of merit ZT of 0.5 at room temperature with reduced thermal conductivity and enhanced Seebeck coefficient, which are primarily a result of the rough interface and the reduced band overlap according to our density-functional calculations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Ceramics and Composites
- Polymers and Plastics
- Metals and Alloys