Hexagonal silicon realized

H.I.T. Hauge, M.A. Verheijen, S. Conesa-Boj, T. Etzelstorfer, M. Watzinger, D. Kriegner, I. Zardo, C. Fasolato, F. Capitani, P. Postorino, S. Kölling, Ang Li, S. Assali, J. Stangl, E.P.A.M. Bakkers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Silicon, arguably the most important technological semiconductor, is predicted to exhibit a range of new and interesting properties when grown in the hexagonal crystal structure. To obtain pure hexagonal silicon is a great challenge because it naturally crystallizes in the cubic structure. Here, we demonstrate the fabrication of pure and stable hexagonal silicon evidenced by structural characterization. In our approach, we transfer the hexagonal crystal structure from a template hexagonal gallium phosphide nanowire to an epitaxially grown silicon shell, such that hexagonal silicon is formed. The typical ABABAB⋯ stacking of the hexagonal structure is shown by aberration-corrected imaging in transmission electron microscopy. In addition, X-ray diffraction measurements show the high crystalline purity of the material. We show that this material is stable up to 9 GPa pressure. With this development, we open the way for exploring its optical, electrical, superconducting, and mechanical properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5855-5860
Number of pages6
JournalNano Letters
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sept 2015


  • Core/Shell Nanowire
  • Hexagonal Crystal Structure
  • Raman Spectroscopy
  • Silicon
  • Single-Crystalline
  • X-ray Diffraction


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