Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A baby crystal is born

18.01.2012
Lead sulfide (PbS) forms when an equal number of lead and sulfur atoms exchange electrons and bond together in cubic crystals.

Now scientists have determined that a structure comprising 32 lead-sulfur pairs is the smallest possible cubic arrangement that exhibits the same coordination as bulk lead sulfide. (The coordination number is the number of nearest neighbors each atom in the crystal has.)

Researchers from McNeese State University in Louisiana, John Hopkins University in Maryland, and the University of Konstanz in Germany identified the "baby crystal" by running computer simulations that calculated the energy and geometry of different structures containing different numbers of atoms. They found that (PbS)32 is the smallest stable unit that possesses both the same cubic structure and coordination number as the bulk crystal. The researchers also experimentally tested their theoretical findings by gently depositing (PbS)32 clusters on a graphite surface where they could easily migrate and merge together to form larger nanoscale structures.

By using scanning tunneling microscope images to measure the dimensions of the resultant lead sulfide nano-blocks, the researchers confirmed that the (PbS)32 "baby crystals" had indeed stacked together as theoretically predicted.

The results, published in the AIP's Journal of Chemical Physics, show how small lead sulfide crystals come together to form larger units and could help provide a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in the formation of solids.

Article: "(PbS)32: A Baby Crystal" is published in the Journal of Chemical Physics.

Authors: B. Kiran (1), Anil K. Kandalam (2), Rameshu Rallabandi, (1) Pratik Koirala (2), Xiang Li (4), Xin Tang (4), Yi Wang (4), Howard Fairbrother (4), Gerd Gantefoer (3), and Kit Bowen (4).

(1) Department of Chemistry, McNeese State University, La.
(2) Department of Physics, McNeese State University, La.
(3) Department of Physics, University of Konstanz, Germany
(4) Depts. Of Chemistry and Material Sciences, John Hopkins University, Md.

Catherine Meyers | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.aip.org

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Computer model predicts how fracturing metallic glass releases energy at the atomic level
20.07.2018 | American Institute of Physics

nachricht What happens when we heat the atomic lattice of a magnet all of a sudden?
18.07.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>