Publication
Title
Direct observation of cation diffusion driven surface reconstruction at van der Waals gaps
Author
Abstract
Weak interlayer van der Waals (vdW) bonding has significant impact on the surface/interface structure, electronic properties, and transport properties of vdW layered materials. Unraveling the complex atomistic dynamics and structural evolution at vdW surfaces is therefore critical for the design and synthesis of the next-generation vdW layered materials. Here, we show that Ge/Bi cation diffusion along the vdW gap in layered GeBi2Te4 (GBT) can be directly observed using in situ heating scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM). The cation concentration variation during diffusion was correlated with the local Te-6 octahedron distortion based on a quantitative analysis of the atomic column intensity and position in time-elapsed STEM images. The in-plane cation diffusion leads to out-of-plane surface etching through complex structural evolutions involving the formation and propagation of a non-centrosymmetric GeTe2 triple layer surface reconstruction on fresh vdW surfaces, and GBT subsurface reconstruction from a septuple layer to a quintuple layer. Our results provide atomistic insight into the cation diffusion and surface reconstruction in vdW layered materials. Weak interlayer van der Waals (vdW) bonding has significant impact on the structure and properties of vdW layered materials. Here authors use in-situ aberration-corrected ADF-STEM for an atomistic insight into the cation diffusion in the vdW gaps and the etching of vdW surfaces at high temperatures.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Nature communications
Publication
2023
ISSN
2041-1723
DOI
10.1038/S41467-023-35972-9
Volume/pages
14 :1 (2023) , p. 1-10
Article Reference
554
ISI
001076227200001
Pubmed ID
36732335
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identifier
Creation 04.12.2023
Last edited 08.12.2023
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