Research Article


2014, 7(9): 1243–1253


Te-seeded growth of few-quintuple layer Bi2Te3 nanoplates

Yanyuan Zhao1, Maria de la Mata2, Richard L. J. Qiu3, Jun Zhang1, Xinglin Wen1, Cesar Magen4, Xuan P. A. Gao3, Jordi Arbiol2,5 (*), and Qihua Xiong1,6 (*)

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1 Division of Physics and Applied Physics, School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 637371
2 Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona, ICMAB-CSIC, E-08193 Bellaterra, CAT, Spain
3 Department of Physics, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, USA
4 Laboratorio de Microscopías Avanzadas (LMA), Instituto de Nanociencia de Aragon (INA) -ARAID and Departamento de Fisica de la Materia Condensada, Universidad de Zaragoza, 50018 Zaragoza, Spain
5 Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avanats (ICREA), 08010 Barcelona, CAT, Spain
6 NOVITAS, Nanoelectronics Centre of Excellence, School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798

Keywords: Te nucleation seed, epitaxial growth, Bi2Te3, few-quintuple layer, TEM cross-section, optical contrast
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We report on a Te-seeded epitaxial growth of ultrathin Bi2Te3 nanoplates (down to three quintuple layers (QL)) with large planar sizes (up to tens of micrometers) through vapor transport. Optical contrast has been systematically investigated for the as-grown Bi2Te3 nanoplates on the SiO2/Si substrates, experimentally and computationally. The high and distinct optical contrast provides a fast and convenient method for the thickness determination of few-QL Bi2Te3 nanoplates. By aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy, a hexagonal crystalline structure has been identified for the Te seeds, which form naturally during the growth process and initiate an epitaxial growth of the rhombohedral- structured Bi2Te3 nanoplates. The epitaxial relationship between Te and Bi2Te3 is identified to be perfect along both in-plane and out-of-plane directions of the layered nanoplate. Similar growth mechanism might be expected for other bismuth chalcogenide layered materials.
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Te-seeded growth of few-quintuple layer Bi2Te3 nanoplates. Nano Res. 2014, 7(9): 1243–1253

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