Materials Science

Sublimed Clusters

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Science  24 Aug 2007:
Vol. 317, Issue 5841, pp. 1011
DOI: 10.1126/science.317.5841.1011a

Inorganic thin films can be formed under vacuum conditions by transferring material from one surface as a vapor and depositing it on a nearby substrate. However, forming the vapor phase often involves harsh conditions—such as heating to very high temperature or bombardment with high-energy ions or photons—to desorb atomic species or a distribution of clusters. As a result, preserving intricate synthetic structures during the transfer is often difficult. Chao et al. show that silicon nanocrystals (with mean diameters near 2 nm) capped with undecyl hydrocarbon chains can undergo thermal desorption at relatively low temperature (200°C) and be transferred from one surface to another for a wide variety of substrates. Composition of the transferred particles was confirmed by x-ray photoemission spectroscopy, and morphologies were examined with a range of microscopy techniques. The nanocrystals initially grew as two-dimensional islands but could also form three-dimensional clusters. — PDS

Nat. Nanotechnol. 2, 486 (2007).

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