X-ray initiation of nonthermal growth of single crystal pyramids in amorphous barium titanate

Y. Feldman, V. Lyahovitskaya, G. Leitus, I. Lubomirsky, E. Wachtel, V. A. Bushuev, G. Vaughan, Z. Barkay, Yu Rosenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nonthermal crystallization of amorphous barium titanate (BTO) was initiated by a monochromatic x-ray microbeam from a synchrotron radiation source. Following x-ray exposure, micron-sized BTO single crystals with a true square pyramid shape appeared on the surface of an amorphous BTO substrate-free film. The location and size of the areas in which crystal growth appeared fit well the x-ray microbeam path and size, respectively. A plausible mechanism of x-ray induced initiation of nonthermal crystallization in BTO is proposed. The observed phenomenon holds promise for materials engineering at nanoscale and crystallization of amorphous materials in situations where heating must be avoided.

Original languageEnglish
Article number051919
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge the ESRF for the beam time. Yu.R. appreciates valuable discussions with Faris Gelmukhanov and N.V. Shokhirev. I.L. wishes to acknowledge the U. S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation and the Israel Ministry of Science for partial funding of this research. This research is made possible in part by the historic generosity of the Harold Perlman Family.


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