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Formation of Nanoscale Composites of Compound Semiconductors Driven by Charge Transfer

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journal contribution
posted on 2016-07-26, 00:00 authored by Weiwei Gao, Roberto dos Reis, Laura T. Schelhas, Vanessa L. Pool, Michael F. Toney, Kin Man Yu, Wladek Walukiewicz
Composites are a class of materials that are formed by mixing two or more components. These materials often have new functional properties compared to their constituent materials. Traditionally composites are formed by self-assembly due to structural dissimilarities or by engineering different layers or structures in the material. Here we report the synthesis of a uniform and stoichiometric composite of CdO and SnTe with a novel nanocomposite structure stabilized by the dissimilarity of the electronic band structure of the constituent materials. The composite has interesting electronic properties which range from highly n-type in CdO to semi-insulating in the intermediate composition range to highly p-type in SnTe. This can be explained by the overlap of the conduction and valence band of the constituent compounds. Ultimately, our work identifies a new class of composite semiconductors in which nanoscale self-organization is driven and stabilized by charge transfer between constituent materials.