One-dimensional silicon and germanium nanostructures with no carbon analogues†
In this work we report new silicon and germanium tubular nanostructures with no corresponding stable carbon analogues. The electronic and mechanical properties of these new tubes were investigated through ab initio methods. Our results show that these structures have lower energy than their corresponding nanoribbon structures and are stable up to high temperatures (500 and 1000 K, for silicon and germanium tubes, respectively). Both tubes are semiconducting with small indirect band gaps, which can be significantly altered by both compressive and tensile strains. Large bandgap variations of almost 50% were observed for strain rates as small as 3%, suggesting their possible applications in sensor devices. They also present high Young's modulus values (0.25 and 0.15 TPa, respectively). TEM images were simulated to help in the identification of these new structures.