Surface-driven phase coexistence

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Science  01 Feb 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6426, pp. 495-496
DOI: 10.1126/science.363.6426.495-g

Phase transitions at the nanoscale are interesting because the usually neglected surface effects can play an outsized role. Chen et al. investigated the temperature-dependent crystal phase transition in copper selenide nanocrystals. They found evidence of two-phase coexistence, which is not allowed for the bulk material. This is likely explained by the surface effects of their wedge-shaped nanocrystal. This demonstration shows how nanomaterials may be tailored in distinct ways compared to their bulk counterparts, offering interesting new routes to optimize their physical properties.

Adv. Mater. 31, 1804919 (2019).

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