Metastable DenseSemiconductor Phases

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Science  18 Apr 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5311, pp. 373-374
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5311.373

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The creation of new materials may be possible by searching out high-energy forms of solid-state structures. In his Perspective, Brus discusses results reported in the same issue by Chen et al. on direct measurements of structural changes in nanocrystals. The measurements show that metastable higher-energy forms are more stable in larger nanocrystals, suggesting that it may be possible to "trap" these useful but otherwise unstable structures.