Synthesis of Novel Phases in Si Nanowires Using Diamond Anvil Cells at High Pressures and Temperatures

Larissa Q. Huston*, Alois Lugstein, Guoyin Shen, David A. Cullen, Bianca Haberl, Jim S. Williams, Jodie E. Bradby

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    Silicon has several technologically promising allotropes that are formed via high-pressure synthesis. One of these phases (hd) has been predicted to have a direct band gap under tensile strain, whereas other (r8 and bc8) phases are predicted to have narrow band gaps and good absorption across the solar spectrum. Pure volumes of these phases cannot be made using conventional nanowire growth techniques. In this work, Si nanowires were compressed up to ∼20 GPa and then decompressed using a diamond anvil cell in the temperature range of 25-165 °C. It was found that at intermediate temperatures, near-phase-pure bc8-Si nanowires were produced, whereas amorphous Si (a-Si) dominated at lower temperatures, and a direct transformation to the diamond cubic phase (dc-Si) occurred at higher temperatures under compression. Thus this study has opened up a new pressure-temperature pathway for the synthesis of novel Si nanowires consisting of designed phase components with transformative properties.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1427-1433
    Number of pages7
    JournalNano Letters
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2021


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