Liquid-Liquid Phase Transition in Nanoconfined Silicon Carbide

WK Wu and LN Zhang and SD Liu and HR Ren and XY Zhou and H Li, JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 138, 2815-2822 (2016).

DOI: 10.1021/jacs.5b13467

We report theoretical evidence of a liquid liquid phase transition (LLPT) in liquid silicon carbide under nanoslit confinement. The LLPT is characterized by layering transitions induced by confinement and pressure, accompanying the rapid Change in density. During the layering transition, the proportional distribution of tetracoordinated and pentacoordinated structures exhibits remarkable change. The tricoordinated structures lead to the microphase separation between silicon (with the dominant tricoordinated, tetracoordinated, and pentacoordinated structures) and carbon (with the dominant tricoordinated structures) in the layer close to the walls. A strong layer separation between silicon atoms and carbon atoms is induced by strong wall liquid forces. Importantly, the pressure confinement phase diagram with negative slopes for LLPT lines indicates that, under high pressure, the LLPT is mainly confinement-induced, but under low pressure, it becomes dominantly pressure induced.

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