“Pressure-driven phase transitions and reduction of dimensionality in 2D silicon nanosheets”
G.C. Hwang, D.A. Blom, T. Vogt, J. Lee, H.-J. Choi, S. Shao, Y. Ma, Y. Lee*
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.