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  Structural complexity and the metal-to-semiconductor transition in lead telluride

Zelenina, I., Simon, P., Veremchuk, I., Wang, X., Bobnar, M., Lu, W., et al. (2021). Structural complexity and the metal-to-semiconductor transition in lead telluride. Communications Materials, 2(1): 99, pp. 1-8. doi:10.1038/s43246-021-00201-7.

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 Creators:
Zelenina, Iryna1, Author              
Simon, Paul2, Author              
Veremchuk, Igor3, Author              
Wang, Xinke1, Author              
Bobnar, Matej1, Author              
Lu, Wenjun4, Author
Liebscher, Christian H.4, Author
Grin, Yuri5, Author              
Affiliations:
1Chemical Metal Science, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, Max Planck Society, ou_1863405              
2Paul Simon, Chemical Metal Science, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, Max Planck Society, ou_1863418              
3Igor Veremchuk, Chemical Metal Science, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, Max Planck Society, ou_1863411              
4External Organizations, ou_persistent22              
5Juri Grin, Chemical Metal Science, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, Max Planck Society, ou_1863413              

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 Abstract: Lead chalcogenides are known for their thermoelectric properties since the first work of Thomas Seebeck on the discovery of this phenomenon. Yet, the electronic properties of lead telluride are still of interest due to the incomplete understanding of the metal-to-semiconductor transition at temperatures around  230 °C. Here, a temperature-dependent atomic-resolution transmission electron microscopy study performed on a single crystal of lead telluride reveals structural reasons for this electronic transition. Below the transition temperature, the formation of a dislocation network due to shifts of the NaCl-like atomic slabs perpendicular to {100} was observed. The local structure modification leads to the appearance of in-gap electronic states and causes metal-like electronic transport behavior. The dislocation network disappears with increasing temperature, yielding semiconductor-like electrical conductivity, and re-appears after cooling to room temperature restoring the metal-like behavior. The structural defects coupled to the ordering of stereochemically active lone pairs of lead atoms are discussed in the context of dislocations' formation.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2021-09-212021-09-21
 Publication Status: Published in print
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 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1038/s43246-021-00201-7
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Title: Communications Materials
Source Genre: Journal
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Pages: - Volume / Issue: 2 (1) Sequence Number: 99 Start / End Page: 1 - 8 Identifier: ISBN: 2662-4443