Complex crystallization dynamics in amorphous germanium observed with dynamic transmission electron microscopy

Nikolova, Liliya, LaGrange, Thomas, Stern, Mark J., MacLeod, Jennifer M., Reed, Bryan W., Ibrahim, Heide, Campbell, Geoffrey H., Rosei, Federico, & Siwick, Bradley J. (2013) Complex crystallization dynamics in amorphous germanium observed with dynamic transmission electron microscopy. Physical Review B, 87(6), 064105.

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Crystallization of amorphous germanium (a-Ge) by laser or electron beam heating is a remarkably complex process that involves several distinct modes of crystal growth and the development of intricate microstructural patterns on the nanosecond to ten microsecond time scales. Here we use dynamic transmission electron microscopy (DTEM) to study the fast, complex crystallization dynamics with 10 nm spatial and 15 ns temporal resolution. We have obtained time-resolved real-space images of nanosecond laser-induced crystallization in a-Ge with unprecedentedly high spatial resolution. Direct visualization of the crystallization front allows for time-resolved snapshots of the initiation and roughening of the dendrites on submicrosecond time scales. This growth is followed by a rapid transition to a ledgelike growth mechanism that produces a layered microstructure on a time scale of several microseconds. This study provides insights into the mechanisms governing this complex crystallization process and is a dramatic demonstration of the power of DTEM for studying time-dependent material processes far from equilibrium.

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ID Code: 89960
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.87.064105
ISSN: 2469-9969
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 American Physical Society
Deposited On: 06 Apr 2016 00:18
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2016 03:39

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