Issue 1, 2021

Semimetal to semiconductor transition in Bi/TiO2 core/shell nanowires


We demonstrate the full thermoelectric and structural characterization of individual bismuth-based (Bi-based) core/shell nanowires. The influence of strain on the temperature dependence of the electrical conductivity, the absolute Seebeck coefficient and the thermal conductivity of bismuth/titanium dioxide (Bi/TiO2) nanowires with different diameters is investigated and compared to bismuth (Bi) and bismuth/tellurium (Bi/Te) nanowires and bismuth bulk. Scattering at surfaces, crystal defects and interfaces between the core and the shell reduces the electrical conductivity to less than 5% and the thermal conductivity to less than 25% to 50% of the bulk value at room temperature. On behalf of a compressive strain, Bi/TiO2 core/shell nanowires show a decreasing electrical conductivity with decreasing temperature opposed to that of Bi and Bi/Te nanowires. We find that the compressive strain induced by the TiO2 shell can lead to a band opening of bismuth increasing the absolute Seebeck coefficient by 10% to 30% compared to bulk at room temperature. In the semiconducting state, the activation energy is determined to |41.3 ± 0.2| meV. We show that if the strain exceeds the elastic limit the semimetallic state is recovered due to the lattice relaxation.

Graphical abstract: Semimetal to semiconductor transition in Bi/TiO2 core/shell nanowires

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Article information

Article type
10 Aug 2020
20 Nov 2020
First published
09 Dec 2020
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

Nanoscale Adv., 2021,3, 263-271

Semimetal to semiconductor transition in Bi/TiO2 core/shell nanowires

M. Kockert, R. Mitdank, H. Moon, J. Kim, A. Mogilatenko, S. H. Moosavi, M. Kroener, P. Woias, W. Lee and S. F. Fischer, Nanoscale Adv., 2021, 3, 263 DOI: 10.1039/D0NA00658K

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