Compositional uniformity, domain patterning and the mechanism underlying nano-chessboard arrays

Santiago Gonzalez, Juan Manuel Perez-Mato, Luis Elcoro, Alberto Garcia, Ray Withers, Laure Nelly Bourgeois

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2 Citations (Scopus)


We propose that systems exhibiting compositional patterning at the nanoscale, so far assumed to be due to some kind of ordered phase segregation, can be understood instead in terms of coherent, single phase ordering of minority motifs, caused by some constrained drive for uniformity. The essential features of this type of arrangement can be reproduced using a superspace construction typical of uniformity-driven orderings, which only requires the knowledge of the modulation vectors observed in the diffraction patterns. The idea is discussed in terms of a simple two-dimensional lattice-gas model that simulates a binary system in which the dilution of the minority component is favoured. This simple model already exhibits a hierarchy of arrangements similar to the experimentally observed nano-chessboard and nano-diamond patterns, which are described as occupational modulated structures with two independent modulation wavevectors and simple step-like occupation modulation functions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Physics: Condensed Matter
Issue number49
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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