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A Second Amorphous Layer Underneath Surface Oxide
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 23 February 2017
Formation of a nanometer-scale oxide surface layer is common when a material is exposed to oxygen-containing environment. Employing aberration-corrected analytical transmission electron microscopy and using single crystal SnSe as an example, we show that for an alloy, a second thin amorphous layer can appear underneath the outmost oxide layer. This inner amorphous layer is not oxide based, but instead originates from solid-state amorphization of the base alloy when its free energy rises to above that of the metastable amorphous state; which is a result of the composition shift due to the preferential depletion of the oxidizing species, in our case, the outgoing Sn reacting with the oxygen atmosphere.
- Materials Applications
- Microscopy and Microanalysis , Volume 23 , Issue 1 , February 2017 , pp. 173 - 178
- © Microscopy Society of America 2017