Creation of nanocrystals via a tip-induced solid-solid transformation
Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) is a powerful tool for nanoscale research since it can both create and probe the properties of nanostructures. We have used STM to create T-phase TaSe2 nanocrystals embedded in H-phase TaSe2 through a tip-induced solid-solid phase transition at liquid He temperature. Atomic-resolution images have been used to develop a structural model to understand this solid-solid phase transformation. Furthermore, STM studies of the charge density wave (CDW) state in the T-TaSe2 nanocrystals have been used to address CDW physics in finite dimensions.