New Way to Quasicrystals

  • Author: ChemistryViews
  • Published: 10 October 2013
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
  • Source / Publisher: Nature/Nature Publishing Group
thumbnail image: New Way to Quasicrystals

Wolf Widdra, Max-Planck-Institut für Mikrostrukturphysik, Halle, Germany, and colleagues from the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg have demonstrated a new way to grow ultrathin quasicrystalline films: Frustration at the interface between two periodic materials can drive a thin film into an aperiodic quasicrystalline phase. Quasicrystals are crystalline structures that show a regular order but lack periodicity.

A thin layer of BaTiO3 was deposited atop a surface of platinum atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice. The mismatch in atomic arrangement between the two layers forces the BiTiO3 to arrange its atoms into dodecahedrons. Inside, the atoms arrange themselves in a series of triangles, squares, and rhombi.

According to the researchers, this example of interface-driven formation of ultrathin quasicrystals from a typical periodic perovskite oxide my lead to a broader range of quasicrystal materials with so far untold uses.

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