Journal article Open Access

Evolution of hierarchically-layered Cu-rich silicide nano-architectures

Amiinu, Ibrahim Saana; Kapuria, Nilotpal; Adegoke, Temilade Esther; Holzinger, Angelika; Geaney, Hugh; Scanlon, Micheál D.; Ryan, Kevin M.

A solution based synthesis of well-ordered Cu-rich silicide nanoarchitectures, consisting of a pair of layered cups and stems (ρ-Cu15Si4) is demonstrated. The as-grown ρ-Cu15Si4 typically exhibits distinct interconnected 1D stems, consisting of a stack of nanorods (∼300 nm in length), terminated with concave hexagonal 3D cups that evolve through a self-regulated layer-by-layer growth mechanism. Discrete-time ex situ experimental observations reveal that the ρ-Cu15Si4 evolution is driven by interatomic diffusion, initially triggering the formation of binary-phase silicide islands (spheres) followed by the formation of hexagonal discs, stem growth, and lateral elongation in exactly opposite directions. It is further shown that electrochemically pregrown Cu-crystals can facilitate the direct growth of ρ-Cu15Si4 in high yield with enhanced substrate coverage.

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