Dynamics and control of gold-encapped gallium arsenide nanowires imaged by 4D electron microscopy.

Author(s) Chen, B.; Fu, X.; Tang, J.; Lysevych, M.; Tan, H.Hoe; Jagadish, C.; Zewail, A.H.
Journal Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
Date Published 2017 Dec 05

Eutectic-related reaction is a special chemical/physical reaction involving multiple phases, solid and liquid. Visualization of a phase reaction of composite nanomaterials with high spatial and temporal resolution provides a key understanding of alloy growth with important industrial applications. However, it has been a rather challenging task. Here, we report the direct imaging and control of the phase reaction dynamics of a single, as-grown free-standing gallium arsenide nanowire encapped with a gold nanoparticle, free from environmental confinement or disturbance, using four-dimensional (4D) electron microscopy. The nondestructive preparation of as-grown free-standing nanowires without supporting films allows us to study their anisotropic properties in their native environment with better statistical character. A laser heating pulse initiates the eutectic-related reaction at a temperature much lower than the melting points of the composite materials, followed by a precisely time-delayed electron pulse to visualize the irreversible transient states of nucleation, growth, and solidification of the complex. Combined with theoretical modeling, useful thermodynamic parameters of the newly formed alloy phases and their crystal structures could be determined. This technique of dynamical control aided by 4D imaging of phase reaction processes on the nanometer-ultrafast time scale opens new venues for engineering various reactions in a wide variety of other systems.

DOI 10.1073/pnas.1708761114
ISSN 1091-6490
Citation Chen B, Fu X, Tang J, Lysevych M, Tan HH, Jagadish C, et al. Dynamics and control of gold-encapped gallium arsenide nanowires imaged by 4D electron microscopy. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2017;114(49):12876-12881.

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