Physics

Surprises in spiral domains

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Science  22 May 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6237, pp. 877
DOI: 10.1126/science.348.6237.877-f

Antimony telluride (Sb2Te3), a semiconductor with thermoelectric applications, has a layered hexagonal closepacked structure. Hauer et al. grew Sb2Te3 platelets using a solvothermal technique that developed a spiral growth pattern around a screw dislocation. Scattering-type scanning near-field microscopy of mid-infrared reflectivity surprisingly revealed triangular domains of opposite phase that were not seen with platelets grown by other methods. They attribute the contrast to growth twins that had different levels of antisite defects, which act as electronic dopants and affect its plasma frequency.

Nano Lett. 10.1021/nl503697c (2015).

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