Pyramid-Shaped Single-Crystalline Nanostructure of Molybdenum with Excellent Mechanical, Electrical, and Optical Properties

Y. Shen, Y. Han, R. Zhan, X. Chen, S. Wen, W. Huang, F. Sun, Y. Wei, H. Chen, J. Wu, J. Chen, N. Xu and S. Deng

ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 12, 24218 (2020)
Specific geometric morphology and improved crystalline properties are of great significance for the development of materials in micro–nano scale. However, for high-melting molybdenum (Mo), it is difficult to get high-quality structures exhibiting a single-crystalline nature and preconceived morphology simultaneously. In this paper, a pyramid-shaped single-crystalline Mo nanostructure was prepared through a thermal evaporation technique, as well as a series of experimental controls. Based on detailed characterizations, the growth mechanism was demonstrated to follow a sequential process that includes MoO2 decomposition and Mo deposition, single-crystalline islands formation, layered nucleation, and competitive growth. Furthermore, the product was measured to show excellent physical properties. The prepared nanostructures exhibited strong nano–indentation hardness, elastic modulus, and tensile strength in mechanical measurements, which are much higher than those of the Mo bulks. In the measurement of electronic characteristics, the individual structures indicated very good electrical transport properties, with a conductance of ∼0.16 S. The prepared film with an area of 0.02 cm2 showed large-current electron emission properties with a maximum current of 33.6 mA and a current density of 1.68 A cm–2. Optical properties of the structures were measured to show obvious electromagnetic field localization and enhancement, which enabled it to have good surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) activity as a substrate material. The corresponding structure–response relationships were further discussed. The reported physical properties profit from the basic features of the Mo nanostructures, including the micro–nano scale, the single-crystalline nature in each grain, as well as the pyramid-shaped top morphology. The findings may provide a potential material for the research and application of micro–nano electrons and photons.