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Issue 5, 2012
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In situ TEM observation of lithium nanoparticle growth and morphological cycling

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Abstract

Lithium fluoride crystals were subjected to electron beam irradiation at 200 and 300 keV using transmission electron microscopy in order to study in situ fabrication of Li nanostructures. We observed that LiF crystals decompose in a unique way different to all other metal halides: Fluorine ablation and salt-to-metal conversion is non-local and due to a rapid lateral diffusion of Li, the life cycle from nucleation to annihilation of fresh Li nano-crystals can be observed at a distance from the Li-source, the irradiated salt. Growth, shape transition and annihilation of Li nanostructures follow at slow enough speed for live video recording with resolution of 25 frames per second. The equilibrium shapes of pure Li nano-crystals range from cubic to rod-shaped and ball-shaped and up to 300 nm size. By varying the e-beam flux of irradiation, transitions from cube to spherical shape can be induced cyclically.

Graphical abstract: In situ TEM observation of lithium nanoparticle growth and morphological cycling

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Publication details

The article was received on 20 Oct 2011, accepted on 21 Dec 2011, published on 08 Feb 2012 and first published online on 08 Feb 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2NR11546H
Citation: Nanoscale, 2012,4, 1754-1759
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    In situ TEM observation of lithium nanoparticle growth and morphological cycling

    J. Ghatak, W. Guan and G. Möbus, Nanoscale, 2012, 4, 1754
    DOI: 10.1039/C2NR11546H

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