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Electron beam-induced deposition with tungsten hexacarbonyl W(CO)6 as precursors leads to granular deposits with varying compositions of tungsten, carbon and oxygen. Depending on the deposition conditions, the deposits are insulating or metallic. We employ an evolutionary algorithm to predict the crystal structures starting from a series of chemical compositions that were determined experimentally. We show that this method leads to better structures than structural relaxation based on estimated initial structures. We approximate the expected amorphous structures by reasonably large unit cells that can accommodate local structural environments that resemble the true amorphous structure. Our predicted structures show an insulator-to-metal transition close to the experimental composition at which this transition is actually observed and they also allow comparison with experimental electron diffraction patterns.

Part of Focus on High Energy Density Physics. In this paper, we present a novel theoretical approach, which allows the study of nonequilibrium dynamics of both electrons and atoms/ions within free-electron laser excited semiconductors at femtosecond time scales. The approach consists of the Monte-Carlo method treating photoabsorption, high-energy-electron and core-hole kinetics and relaxation processes. Low-energy electrons localized within the valence and conduction bands of the target are treated with a temperature equation, including source terms, defined by the exchange of energy and particles with high-energy electrons and atoms. We follow the atomic motion with the molecular dynamics method on the changing potential energy surface. The changes of the potential energy surface and of the electron band structure are calculated at each time step with the help of the tight-binding method. Such a combination of methods enables investigation of nonequilibrium structural changes within materials under extreme ultraviolet (XUV) femtosecond irradiation. Our analysis performed for diamond irradiated with an XUV femtosecond laser pulse predicts for the first time in this wavelength regime the nonthermal phase transition from diamond to graphite. Similar to the case of visible light irradiation, this transition takes place within a few tens of femtoseconds and is caused by changes of the interatomic potential induced by ultrafast electronic excitations. It thus occurs well before the heating stimulated by electron–phonon coupling starts to play a role. This allows us to conclude that this transition is nonthermal and represents a general mechanism of the response of solids to ultrafast electron excitations.

Electronic states with non-trivial topology host a number of novel phenomena with potential for revolutionizing information technology. The quantum anomalous Hall effect provides spin-polarized dissipation-free transport of electrons, while the quantum spin Hall effect in combination with superconductivity has been proposed as the basis for realizing decoherence-free quantum computing. We introduce a new strategy for realizing these effects, namely by hole and electron doping kagome lattice Mott insulators through, for instance, chemical substitution. As an example, we apply this new approach to the natural mineral herbertsmithite. We prove the feasibility of the proposed modifications by performing ab-initio density functional theory calculations and demonstrate the occurrence of the predicted effects using realistic models. Our results herald a new family of quantum anomalous Hall and quantum spin Hall insulators at affordable energy/temperature scales based on kagome lattices of transition metal ions.

We present experimental results and theoretical simulations of the adsorption behavior of the metal–organic precursor Co2(CO)8 on SiO2 surfaces after application of two different pretreatment steps, namely by air plasma cleaning or a focused electron beam pre-irradiation. We observe a spontaneous dissociation of the precursor molecules as well as autodeposition of cobalt on the pretreated SiO2 surfaces. We also find that the differences in metal content and relative stability of these deposits depend on the pretreatment conditions of the substrate. Transport measurements of these deposits are also presented. We are led to assume that the degree of passivation of the SiO2 surface by hydroxyl groups is an important controlling factor in the dissociation process. Our calculations of various slab settings, using dispersion-corrected density functional theory, support this assumption. We observe physisorption of the precursor molecule on a fully hydroxylated SiO2 surface (untreated surface) and chemisorption on a partially hydroxylated SiO2 surface (pretreated surface) with a spontaneous dissociation of the precursor molecule. In view of these calculations, we discuss the origin of this dissociation and the subsequent autocatalysis.

We present a numerical investigation of energy and charge distributions during electron-beam-induced growth of tungsten nanostructures on SiO2 substrates by using a Monte Carlo simulation of the electron transport. This study gives a quantitative insight into the deposition of energy and charge in the substrate and in the already existing metallic nanostructures in the presence of the electron beam. We analyze electron trajectories, inelastic mean free paths, and the distribution of backscattered electrons in different compositions and at different depths of the deposit. We find that, while in the early stages of the nanostructure growth a significant fraction of electron trajectories still interacts with the substrate, when the nanostructure becomes thicker the transport takes place almost exclusively in the nanostructure. In particular, a larger deposit density leads to enhanced electron backscattering. This work shows how mesoscopic radiation-transport techniques can contribute to a model that addresses the multi-scale nature of the electron-beam-induced deposition (EBID) process. Furthermore, similar simulations can help to understand the role that is played by backscattered electrons and emitted secondary electrons in the change of structural properties of nanostructured materials during post-growth electron-beam treatments.

We investigate the magnetism of a previously unexplored distorted spin-1/2 kagome model consisting of three symmetry-inequivalent nearest-neighbor antiferromagnetic Heisenberg couplings Jhexagon, J and J', and uncover a rich ground state phase diagram even at the classical level. Using analytical arguments and numerical techniques we identify a collinear Q = 0 magnetic phase, two unusual non-collinear coplanar Q = (1/3,1/3) phases and a classical spin liquid phase with a degenerate manifold of non-coplanar ground states, resembling the jammed spin liquid phase found in the context of a bond-disordered kagome antiferromagnet. We further show with density functional theory calculations that the recently synthesized Y-kapellasite Y3Cu9(OH)19Cl8 is a realization of this model and predict its ground state to lie in the region of Q = (1/3,1/3) order, which remains stable even after inclusion of quantum fluctuation effects within variational Monte Carlo and pseudofermion functional renormalization group. The presented model opens a new direction in the study of kagome antiferromagnets.

We investigate the magnetism of a previously unexplored distorted spin-1/2 kagome model consisting of three symmetry-inequivalent nearest-neighbor antiferromagnetic Heisenberg couplings and uncover a rich ground state phase diagram even at the classical level. Using analytical arguments and numerical techniques we identify a collinear Q⃗ =0 magnetic phase, two unusual non-collinear coplanar Q⃗ =(1/3,1/3) phases and a classical spin liquid phase with a degenerate manifold of non-coplanar ground states, resembling the jammed spin liquid phase found in the context of a bond-disordered kagome antiferromagnet. We further show with density functional theory calculations that the recently synthesized Y-kapellasite Y3Cu9(OH)19Cl8 is a realization of this model and predict its ground state to lie in the region of Q⃗ =(1/3,1/3) order, which remains stable even after inclusion of quantum fluctuation effects within variational Monte Carlo and pseudofermion functional renormalization group. Interestingly, the excitation spectrum of Y-kapellasite lies between that of an underlying triangular lattice of hexagons and a kagome lattice of trimers. The presented model opens a new direction in the study of kagome antiferromagnets.

In the search for novel organic charge transfer salts with variable degrees of charge transfer we have studied the effects of two modifications of the recently synthesized donor–acceptor system [tetramethoxypyrene (TMP)]–[tetracyanoquinodimethane (TCNQ)]. One is of chemical nature by substituting the acceptor TCNQ molecules by F4TCNQ molecules. The second consists in simulating the application of uniaxial pressure along the stacking axis of the system. In order to test the chemical substitution, we have grown single crystals of the TMP–F4TCNQ complex and analyzed its electronic structure via electronic transport measurements, ab initio density functional theory (DFT) calculations and UV/VIS/IR absorption spectroscopy. This system shows an almost ideal geometrical overlap of nearly planar molecules stacked alternately (mixed stack) and this arrangement is echoed by a semiconductor-like transport behavior with an increased conductivity along the stacking direction. This is in contrast to TMP–TCNQ which shows a less pronounced anisotropy and a smaller conductivity response. Our band structure calculations confirm the one-dimensional behavior of TMP–F4TCNQ with pronounced dispersion only along the stacking axis. Infrared measurements illustrating the C[triple bond, length as m-dash]N vibration frequency shift in F4TCNQ suggest however no improvement in the degree of charge transfer in TMP–F4TCNQ with respect to TMP–TCNQ. In both complexes about 0.1e is transferred from TMP to the acceptor. Concerning the pressure effect, our DFT calculations on the designed TMP–TCNQ and TMP–F4TCNQ structures under different pressure conditions show that application of uniaxial pressure along the stacking axis of TMP–TCNQ may be the route to follow in order to obtain a much more pronounced charge transfer.

The interaction of trimethyl(methylcyclopentadienyl)platinum(IV) ((C5H4CH3)Pt(CH3)3) molecules on fully and partially hydroxylated SiO2 surfaces, as well as the dynamics of this interaction were investigated using density functional theory (DFT) and finite temperature DFT-based molecular dynamics simulations. Fully and partially hydroxylated surfaces represent substrates before and after electron beam treatment and this study examines the role of electron beam pretreatment on the substrates in the initial stages of precursor dissociation and formation of Pt deposits. Our simulations show that on fully hydroxylated surfaces or untreated surfaces, the precursor molecules remain inactivated while we observe fragmentation of (C5H4CH3)Pt(CH3)3 on partially hydroxylated surfaces. The behavior of precursor molecules on the partially hydroxylated surfaces has been found to depend on the initial orientation of the molecule and the distribution of surface active sites. Based on the observations from the simulations and available experiments, we discuss possible dissociation channels of the precursor.