Pressure-driven phase transitions and reduction of dimensionality in 2D silicon nanosheets

Gil Chan Hwang, Douglas A. Blom, Thomas Vogt, Jaejun Lee, Heon Jin Choi, Sen Shao, Yanming Ma, Yongjae Lee

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15 Citations (Scopus)


In-situ high-pressure synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction studies up to 21 GPa of CVD-grown silicon 2D-nanosheets establish that the structural phase transitions depend on size and shape. For sizes between 9.3(7) nm and 15.2(8) nm we observe an irreversible phase transition sequence from I (cubic) → II (tetragonal) → V (hexagonal) during pressure increase and during decompression below 8 GPa the emergence of an X-ray amorphous phase. High-angle annular dark field scanning transmission electron microscopy (HAADF-STEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) images of this X-ray amorphous phase reveal the formation of significant numbers of 1D nanowires with aspect ratios > 10, which are twinned and grow along the <111> direction. We discovered a reduction of dimensionality under pressure from a 2D morphology to a 1D wire in a material with a diamond structure. MD simulations indicate the reduction of thermal conductivity in such nanowires.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5412
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Dec 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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