"In Situ Observation of Divergent Phase Transformations in Individual Sulfide Nanocrystals"

Matthew T. McDowell : Zhenda Lu, Kristie J. Koski, Jung Ho Yu, Guangyuan Zheng, and Yi Cui ; Nano Lett., 01/20/15.

Additional Authors: Zhenda Lu, Kristie J. Koski, Jung Ho Yu, Guangyuan Zheng, and Yi Cui


Abstract Image

Inorganic nanocrystals have attracted widespread attention both for their size-dependent properties and for their potential use as building blocks in an array of applications. A complete understanding of chemical transformations in nanocrystals is important for controlling structure, composition, and electronic properties. Here, we utilize in situ high-resolution transmission electron microscopy to study structural and morphological transformations in individual sulfide nanocrystals (copper sulfide, iron sulfide, and cobalt sulfide) as they react with lithium. The experiments reveal the influence of structure and composition on the transformation pathway (conversion versus displacement reactions), and they provide a high-resolution view of the unique displacement reaction mechanism in copper sulfide in which copper metal is extruded from the crystal. The structural similarity between the initial and final phases, as well as the mobility of ions within the crystal, are seen to exert a controlling influence on the reaction pathway.