Size effect on the short range order and the crystallization of nanosized amorphous alumina

Leonid Bloch, Yaron Kauffmann, Boaz Pokroy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Drawing inspiration from nature, where some organisms can control the short-range order of amorphous minerals, we successfully manipulated the short-range order of amorphous alumina by surface and size effects. By utilizing the atomic layer deposition (ALD) method to grow amorphous nanometrically thin films, combined with state-of-the-art electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), we showed experimentally that the short-range order in such films is strongly influenced by size. This phenomenon is equivalent to the well-known size effect on lattice parameters and on the relative stability of different polymorphs in crystalline materials. Additionally, direct measurements of crystallization temperature have shown a dramatic increase in amorphous to crystalline phase transition temperature for thinner amorphous Al2O3 films. Finally, we show that the short-range order changes differently, as dictated by size, while still in the amorphous phase, before the amorphous to crystalline transformation takes place.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3983-3989
Number of pages7
JournalCrystal Growth and Design
Issue number8
StatePublished - 6 Aug 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • General Materials Science


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