The origin of long-period lattice spacings observed in iron-carbide nanowires encapsulated by multiwall carbon nanotubes.
1298 - 1302
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Structures comprising single-crystal, iron-carbon-based nanowires encapsulated by multiwall carbon nanotubes self-organize on inert substrates exposed to the products of ferrocene pyrolysis at high temperature. The most commonly observed encapsulated phases are Fe₃C, α-Fe, and γ-Fe. The observation of anomalously long-period lattice spacings in these nanowires has caused confusion since reflections from lattice spacings of ≥ 0.4 nm are kinematically forbidden for Fe₃C, most of the rarely observed, less stable carbides, α-Fe, and g-Fe. Through high-resolution electron microscopy, selective area electron diffraction, and electron energy loss spectroscopy we demonstrate that the observed long-period lattice spacings of 0.49, 0.66, and 0.44 nm correspond to reflections from the (100), (010), and (001) planes of orthorhombic Fe₃C (space group Pnma). Observation of these forbidden reflections results from dynamic scattering of the incident beam as first observed in bulk Fe₃C crystals.With small amounts of beam tilt these reflections can have significant intensities for crystals containing glide planes such as Fe₃C with space groups Pnma or Pbmn.