About this webinar
Layered materials have received considerable interest owing to their exceptional electronic, optical, and thermoelectric properties. The presence of a van der Waals (vdW) gap between individual layers enables the intercalation of atomic, ionic, and molecular species which can be harnessed in applications like optoelectronics, energy storage, and chemical sensing. Despite the benefits of reversible intercalation, it can also be an unintended consequence of diffusion from interfacing materials like contact metals. Such solid-state intercalation is exacerbated in extreme conditions like elevated temperatures, yet little is understood about the high-temperature dynamics of metal intercalants in layered host lattices.
Dr. Pralav will show how he used situ electron microscopy to investigate the temperature-dependent structural evolution of bismuth telluride, a layered material with well-known application in thermoelectric devices, when contact metals like copper are intercalated within the van der Waals gap. As the temperature is increased, the initially disordered copper undergoes local ordering within the vdW gap, which is followed by anisotropic sublimation behavior, high-mobility boundary motion, and polycrystal growth. As the temperature is raised further, layered copper telluride crystals nucleate and grow with a crystallographic relationship to the bismuth telluride lattice. The presence of copper substantially alters both the transformation temperature of various phenomena, as well as the dynamic evolution of the crystals. These findings are consequential for the design of layered nanoscale devices and nanostructured systems where intercalants may intentionally or unintentionally alter the properties and stability of these systems.
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