Conversion of Zinc Oxide Nanobelts into Superlattice-Structured Nanohelices

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Science  09 Sep 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5741, pp. 1700-1704
DOI: 10.1126/science.1116495

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A previously unknown rigid helical structure of zinc oxide consisting of a superlattice-structured nanobelt was formed spontaneously in a vapor-solid growth process. Starting from a single-crystal stiff nanoribbon dominated by the c-plane polar surfaces, an abrupt structural transformation into the superlattice-structured nanobelt led to the formation of a uniform nanohelix due to a rigid lattice rotation or twisting. The nanohelix was made of two types of alternating and periodically distributed long crystal stripes, which were oriented with their c axes perpendicular to each other. The nanohelix terminated by transforming into a single-crystal nanobelt dominated by nonpolar (Math) surfaces. The nanohelix could be manipulated, and its elastic properties were measured, which suggests possible uses in electromechanically coupled sensors, transducers, and resonators.

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