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Nanomaterials (Basel) ; 11(6)2021 May 26.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34073645


Among all transition metal oxides, titanium dioxide (TiO2) is one of the most intensively investigated materials due to its large range of applications, both in the amorphous and crystalline forms. We have produced amorphous TiO2 thin films by means of room temperature ion-plasma assisted e-beam deposition, and we have heat-treated the samples to study the onset of crystallization. Herein, we have detailed the earliest stage and the evolution of crystallization, as a function of both the annealing temperature, in the range 250-1000 °C, and the TiO2 thickness, varying between 5 and 200 nm. We have explored the structural and morphological properties of the as grown and heat-treated samples with Atomic Force Microscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy, X-ray Diffractometry, and Raman spectroscopy. We have observed an increasing crystallization onset temperature as the film thickness is reduced, as well as remarkable differences in the crystallization evolution, depending on the film thickness. Moreover, we have shown a strong cross-talking among the complementary techniques used displaying that also surface imaging can provide distinctive information on material crystallization. Finally, we have also explored the phonon lifetime as a function of the TiO2 thickness and annealing temperature, both ultimately affecting the degree of crystallinity.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces ; 13(40): 48228-48238, 2021 Oct 13.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34592817


The outstanding mechanical performances of two-dimensional (2D) materials make them appealing for the emerging fields of flextronics and straintronics. However, their manufacturing and integration in 2D crystal-based devices rely on a thorough knowledge of their hardness, elasticity, and interface mechanics. Here, we investigate the elasticity of highly strained monolayer-thick MoS2 membranes, in the shape of micrometer-sized domes, by atomic force microscopy (AFM)-based nanoindentation experiments. A dome's crushing procedure is performed to induce a local re-adhesion of the dome's membrane to the bulk substrate under the AFM tip's load. It is worth noting that no breakage, damage, or variation in size and shape are recorded in 95% of the crushed domes upon unloading. Furthermore, such a procedure paves the way to address quantitatively the extent of the van der Waals interlayer interaction and adhesion of MoS2 by studying pull-in instabilities and hysteresis of the loading-unloading cycles. The fundamental role and advantage of using a superimposed dome's constraint are also discussed.

Nanotechnology ; 30(31): 314004, 2019 Aug 02.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30995619


We present a new procedure that takes advantage of the magnetic flux quantization of superconducting vortices to calibrate the magnetic properties of tips for magnetic force microscopy (MFM). Indeed, a superconducting vortex, whose quantized flux is dependent upon Plank constant, speed of light and electron charge, behaves as a very well defined magnetic reference object. The proposed calibration procedure has been tested on new and worn tips and shows that the monopole point-like approximation of the probe is a reliable model. This procedure has been then applied to perform quantitative MFM experiments on a soft ferromagnetic thin film of permalloy, leading to the determination of the local out-of-plane component of the canted magnetization, together with its spatial variations across a few µm2 scan area.

Sci Rep ; 7: 40559, 2017 01 13.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28084465


Recent progress in the synthesis of monolayer MoS2, a two-dimensional direct band-gap semiconductor, is paving new pathways toward atomically thin electronics. Despite the large amount of literature, fundamental gaps remain in understanding electronic properties at the nanoscale. Here, we report a study of highly crystalline islands of MoS2 grown via a refined chemical vapor deposition synthesis technique. Using high resolution scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy (STM/STS), photoemission electron microscopy/spectroscopy (PEEM) and µ-ARPES we investigate the electronic properties of MoS2 as a function of the number of layers at the nanoscale and show in-depth how the band gap is affected by a shift of the valence band edge as a function of the layer number. Green's function based electronic structure calculations were carried out in order to shed light on the mechanism underlying the observed bandgap reduction with increasing thickness, and the role of the interfacial Sulphur atoms is clarified. Our study, which gives new insight into the variation of electronic properties of MoS2 films with thickness bears directly on junction properties of MoS2, and thus impacts electronics application of MoS2.