American Chemical Society
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Real-Time Observation of Morphological Transformations in II–VI Semiconducting Nanobelts via Environmental Transmission Electron Microscopy

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posted on 2015-05-13, 00:00 authored by Rahul Agarwal, Dmitri N. Zakharov, Nadia M. Krook, Wenjing Liu, Jacob S. Berger, Eric A. Stach, Ritesh Agarwal
It has been observed that wurtzite II–VI semiconducting nanobelts transform into single-crystal, periodically branched nanostructures upon heating. The mechanism of this novel transformation has been elucidated by heating II–VI nanobelts in an environmental transmission electron microscope (ETEM) in oxidizing, reducing, and inert atmospheres while observing their structural changes with high spatial resolution. The interplay of surface reconstruction of high-energy surfaces of the wurtzite phase and environment-dependent anisotropic chemical etching of certain crystal surfaces in the branching mechanism of nanobelts has been observed. Understanding of structural and chemical transformations of materials via in situ microscopy techniques and their role in designing new nanostructured materials is discussed.