skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Cao, Tengfei"

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Materials with metastable phases can exhibit vastly different properties from their thermodynamically favored counterparts. Methods to synthesize metastable phases without the need for high-temperature or high-pressure conditions would facilitate their widespread use. We report on the electrochemical growth of microcrystals of bismuth selenide, Bi2Se3, in the metastable orthorhombic phase at room temperature in aqueous solution. Rather than direct epitaxy with the growth substrate, the spontaneous formation of a seed layer containing nanocrystals of cubic BiSe enforces the metastable phase. We first used single-crystal silicon substrates with a range of resistivities and different orientations to identify the conditions needed to produce the metastable phase. When the applied potential during electrochemical growth is positive of the reduction potential of Bi3+, an initial, Bi-rich seed layer forms. Electron microscopy imaging and diffraction reveal that the seed layer consists of nanocrystals of cubic BiSe embedded within an amorphous matrix of Bi and Se. Using density functional theory calculations, we show that epitaxial matching between cubic BiSe and orthorhombic Bi2Se3 can help stabilize the metastable orthorhombic phase over the thermodynamically stable rhombohedral phase. The spontaneous formation of the seed layer enables us to grow orthorhombic Bi2Se3 on a variety of substrates including single-crystal silicon withmore »different orientations, polycrystalline fluorine-doped tin oxide, and polycrystalline gold. The ability to stabilize the metastable phase through room-temperature electrodeposition in aqueous solution without requiring a single-crystal substrate broadens the range of applications for this semiconductor in optoelectronic and electrochemical devices.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 29, 2023
  2. An electro-optic modulator offers the function of modulating the propagation of light in a material with an electric field and enables a seamless connection between electronics-based computing and photonics-based communication. The search for materials with large electro-optic coefficients and low optical loss is critical to increase the efficiency and minimize the size of electro-optic devices. We present a semi-empirical method to compute the electro-optic coefficients of ferroelectric materials by combining first-principles density-functional theory calculations with Landau–Devonshire phenomenological modeling. We apply the method to study the electro-optic constants, also called Pockels coefficients, of three paradigmatic ferroelectric oxides: BaTiO 3 , LiNbO 3 , and LiTaO 3 . We present their temperature-, frequency-, and strain-dependent electro-optic tensors calculated using our method. The predicted electro-optic constants agree with the experimental results, where available, and provide benchmarks for experimental verification.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 28, 2023
  3. Interfacial behavior of quantum materials leads to emergent phenomena such as quantum phase transitions and metastable functional phases. Probes for in situ and real time surface-sensitive characterization are critical for control during epitaxial synthesis of heterostructures. Termination-switching in complex oxides has been studied using a variety of probes, often ex situ; however, direct in situ observation of this phenomena during growth is rare. To address this, we establish in situ and real time Auger electron spectroscopy for pulsed laser deposition with reflection high energy electron diffraction, providing structural and compositional surface information during film deposition. Using this capability, we show the direct observation and control of surface termination in heterostructures of SrTiO3 and SrRuO3. Density-functional-theory calculations capture the energetics and stability of the observed structures, elucidating their electronic behavior. This demonstrates an exciting approach to monitor and control the composition of materials at the atomic scale for control over emergent phenomena and potential applications.