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Solute segregation to grain boundaries is a fundamental phenomenon in polycrystalline metal-oxide electroceramics that has enormous implications for the macroscopic dielectric behavior of the materials. This paper presents a systematic study of solute segregation in a model dielectric, titanium dioxide. We investigate the relative role of the electrostatic versus strain energy driving forces for segregation by studying yttrium-doped specimens. Through analytical transmission electron microscopy studies, we quantitatively determine the segregation behavior of the material. The measured Gibbsian interfacial excesses are compared to thermodynamic predictions.
We present a novel synthesis technique to grow bulk quantities of semiconductor nanowires at temperatures less than 500 °C. Gallium is used as the liquid medium in a mechanism similar to vapor-liquid-solid (VLS). We demonstrated this low temperature technique with silicon and carbon nanowires. Gallium exhibits extremely low solubility for several elemental semiconductors. This property enables nucleation and growth of nanometer scale wires from large sized gallium droplets (>1 μm) eliminating the need for creation of quantum sized metal droplets.
Multiple silicon nanowires were synthesized using large gallium pools and microwave plasma. Results showed that nanowires growing out of different sized large gallium drops show little variation in diameters, suggesting that our non-traditional technique can be used to synthesize bulk amounts of monodispersed nanowires out of thin films of molten gallium.
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