New substance courses for nanomaterials: nano spheres and diamond slivers product of silicon and germanium


Sep 08, 2021

(Nanowerk News) The newest generations of pc chips are just a few nanometres in measurement and have gotten ever extra energy-saving and highly effective because of progressive miniaturisation. Since the etching processes historically utilized in chip manufacturing are more and more reaching their limits, the event of recent, nanostructured semiconductor supplies is important. Such nano semiconductors additionally play a central function in changing electrical energy into gentle and vice versa.

The silicon sphere [[email protected]20H20], synthesised for the primary time by chemists from Goethe University Frankfurt, guarantees new functions in semiconductor expertise. Blue: silicon, inexperienced: chloride ion, gray: hydrogen.

A group at Goethe University Frankfurt led by Matthias Wagner has now succeeded in synthesising molecular nano “spheres” product of 20 silicon atoms, so-called silafulleranes.

The second new class of supplies are crystal constructing blocks product of 10 silicon and germanium atoms which have a diamond-like construction. Decisive insights into the digital constructions of the brand new compounds had been offered by computer-based theoretical analyses from Stefan Grimme’s analysis group in Bonn.

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The 20 silicon atoms of silafullerane type a dodecahedron, a physique composed of standard pentagons. It encapsulates a chloride ion. A hydrogen atom protrudes outward at every silicon nook of the physique.

Doctoral pupil Marcel Bamberg, who synthesised the molecule, explains: “Our silafullerane is the long-sought progenitor of this new class of substances. The hydrogen atoms can easily be replaced with functional groups, thus giving the silafullerane different properties.” Bonn quantum chemist Markus Bursch provides: “We support the targeted generation of potentially useful properties with theoretical predictions of their resulting effects.”

The silicon-germanium adamantane represents the constructing block of a blended silicon-germanium alloy.
Building block for silicon-germanium alloys
Building block for silicon-germanium alloys: A piece of the silicon-germanium adamantane synthesised in Frankfurt (proven right here with out substituents). Blue: silicon, magenta: germanium.

Benedikt Köstler, who’s growing the compounds as a part of his doctoral thesis, says: “Recent studies have shown that silicon-germanium alloys are superior to pure silicon semiconductors in important application areas. However, the production of such alloys is very difficult and you often get mixtures of different compositions. We have succeeded in developing a simple synthesis path for the basic building block of silicon-germanium alloys. Our silicon-germanium adamantane therefore enables the investigation of important chemical and physical properties of silicon-germanium alloys on the molecular model. We also want to use it in the future to produce silicon-germanium alloys with faultless crystal structures.”

Carbon, which is chemically similar to the weather silicon and germanium, happens in comparable kinds to the 2 new courses of gear: Hollow spheres of carbon atoms (“fullerenes”) correspond to silafulleranes, and diamonds consisting of carbon are composed of adamantane subunits.

Among different issues, fullerenes improve the effectivity of natural solar cells, might make the batteries of electrical automobiles safer, and promise progress in high-temperature superconductivity. Nanodiamonds even have a variety of functions, from prescribed drugs to catalysis analysis.

Against this background, the researchers in Frankfurt and Bonn are excited to see wherein fields their silafulleranes and silicon-germanium adamantanes will grow to be established. Matthias Wagner says: “It is already possible to generate light in all colours of the visible spectrum with nanostructured silicon and germanium in the form of quantum dots, and this is being tested for computer and mobile phone displays, as well as in telecommunications. Apart from the chemical-technical potential, I am personally fascinated by the high symmetry of our compounds: For example, our silafullerane is one of the five Platonic solids and possesses a timeless beauty.”

Original publications

(1) Marcel Bamberg, Markus Bursch, Andreas Hansen, Matthias Brandl, Gabriele Sentis, Lukas Kunze, Michael Bolte, Hans-Wolfram Lerner, Stefan Grimme, Matthias Wagner: [[email protected]]−: Parent Siladodecahedrane with Endohedral Chloride Ion. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2021, 143, 10865–10871 (2) Benedikt Köstler, Michael Bolte, Hans-Wolfram Lerner, Matthias Wagner: Selective One-Pot Syntheses of Mixed Silicon-Germanium Heteroadamantane Clusters. Chem. Eur. J.

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