Understanding the Shape of GeTe Nanocrystals from First Principles
datasetposted on 25.08.2016, 00:00 by Philipp M. Konze, Volker L. Deringer, Richard Dronskowski
Nanocrystals with rationally tailored morphologies and properties are a thriving research field. The phase-change material (PCM) germanium telluride (GeTe) has recently been synthesized in a plethora of nanocrystalline forms and morphologies, but a mechanistic understanding of these experimental findings has been largely missing so far. Here, we present comprehensive dispersion-corrected density functional theory (DFT-D) simulations of the low-index crystal facets of GeTe and how they interact with relevant ligand molecules. These results enable a systematic understanding of experimental findings regarding GeTe nanocrystals and clarify the origin of the broad range of particle shapes observed. This study also affords semiquantitative signposts assisting future synthetic studies of nanocrystalline PCMs.