Spontaneous growth of hexagonal ZrB2 nanoplates driven by a screw dislocation mechanism
ZrB2 nanoplates have been successfully synthesized by a facile molten salt-assisted borothermal reduction technique at 1273 K with a 10 : 1 mass ratio of salts/reactants for the first time. The as-synthesized nanoplates had hexagonal shapes with lateral sizes of 2–6 μm and thicknesses of 50–200 nm. Observation of key features of helical fringes and herringbone contours confirmed the presence of screw dislocations in the as-synthesized nanoplates. A novel screw dislocation growth mechanism was proposed to interpret the formation of the nanoplates. This work not only provides a new growth mechanism for ZrB2 nanoplates but also provides a new strategy for synthesizing ZrB2 nanoplates.