Received a new crystalline form of silicon

Received a new crystalline form of silicon
Received a new crystalline form of silicon

The new layered silicon modification can find application in promising types of electronics, accumulators, and solar cells.

The structure of 4H-silicon against the background of a micrograph of a real crystal obtained by an electron microscope

Scientists from the Carnegie Institute in Washington have developed a method for obtaining a new crystalline modification of silicon - a flat hexagonal structure that can become the basis for new types of microelectronics. Timothy Strobel and his colleagues write about this in an article published in the journal Physical Review Letters.

Silicon - the second most abundant element of the earth's crust - plays a huge role in our life. It is used in everything from construction to optics and the manufacture of electronic microcircuits. The crystal lattice of this silicon modification is similar to the lattice of carbon diamond. The elements are in many ways similar, but while many allotropic forms are already known for carbon, they are just beginning to be found in silicon.

A few years ago, a team from the Carnegie Institution received the Si modification24 - a flat structure composed of five-, six- and eight-atomic rings. The pores in these rings can serve as two-way channels for charge transport, which makes the material promising for electronics and electrical engineering. And now scientists have learned how to turn Si24 into a new form of silicon.

They found that heating Si24 leads to the formation of a layered structure consisting of hexagonal rings, the layers in which are repeated in groups of four. It was named 4H-silicon. “In theory, using seed crystals, we can grow large volumes of 4H structures with properties potentially superior to diamond-like silicon,” the authors said.

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