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Bi-continuous pattern formation in thin films via solid-state interfacial dealloying studied by multimodal characterization

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Abstract

Bicontinuous-nanostructured materials with a three-dimensionally (3D) interconnected morphology offer unique properties and potential applications in catalysis, biomedical sensing and energy storage. The new approach of solid-state interfacial dealloying (SSID) opens a route for fabricating bi-continuous metal–metal composites and porous metals at nano-/meso-scales via a self-organizing process driven by minimizing the system's free energy. Integrating SSID and thin film processing fully can open up a wide range of technological opportunities in designing novel functional materials; to-date, no experimental evidence has shown that 3D bi-continuous films can be formed with SSID, owing to the complexity of the kinetic mechanisms in thin film geometry and at nano-scales, despite the simple processing strategy in SSID. Here, we demonstrate that a fully-interconnected 3D bi-continuous structure can be achieved by this new approach, thin-film-SSID, using Fe–Ni film dealloyed by Mg film. The formation of a Fe–MgxNi bi-continuous 3D nano-structure was visualized and characterized via a multi-scale, multi-modal approach, combining electron transmission microscopy with synchrotron X-ray fluorescence nano-tomography and absorption spectroscopy. Phenomena involved with structural formation are discussed. These include surface dewetting, nano-size void formation among metallic ligaments, and interaction with a substrate. This work sheds light on the mechanisms of the SSID process, and sets a path for manufacturing of thin-film materials for future nano-structured metallic materials.

Graphical abstract: Bi-continuous pattern formation in thin films via solid-state interfacial dealloying studied by multimodal characterization

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Publication details

The article was received on 29 Apr 2019, accepted on 18 Jun 2019 and first published on 19 Jun 2019


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C9MH00669A
Mater. Horiz., 2019, Advance Article

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    Bi-continuous pattern formation in thin films via solid-state interfacial dealloying studied by multimodal characterization

    C. Zhao, K. Kisslinger, X. Huang, M. Lu, F. Camino, C. Lin, H. Yan, E. Nazaretski, Y. Chu, B. Ravel, M. Liu and Y. K. Chen-Wiegart, Mater. Horiz., 2019, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9MH00669A

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