Atomically-thin crystalline films and ribbons of bismuth telluride

Teweldebrhan, Desalegne; Goyal, Vivek; Rahman, Muhammad; Balandin, Alexander A.
February 2010
Applied Physics Letters;2/1/2010, Vol. 96 Issue 5, p053107
Academic Journal
The authors report on “graphene-like” exfoliation of the large-area crystalline films and ribbons of bismuth telluride with the thicknesses of a few atoms. It is demonstrated that Bi2Te3 crystal can be mechanically separated into its building blocks—Te–Bi–Te–Bi–Te atomic fivefolds—with the thickness of ∼1 nm and even further—to subunits with smaller thicknesses. The atomically-thin films can be structured into suspended crystalline ribbons providing quantum confinement in two dimensions. The quasi two-dimensional crystals of bismuth telluride revealed high electrical conductivity and low thermal conductivity. The proposed atomic-layer engineering of bismuth telluride opens up a principally new route for drastic enhancement of the thermoelectric figure of merit.


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