Threshold Pressure for Disappearance of Size-Induced Effect in Spinel-Structure Ge3N4 Nanocrystals

Zhongwu Wang, Yusheng Zhao, D. Schiferl, Jiang Qian, Robert T. Downs, Ho Kwang Mao, T. Sekine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


We demonstrate that the incompressibility of spinel Ge3N 4 nanocrystals decreases when the pressure is elevated above ∼20 GPa. Ge3N4 nanocrystals initially exhibit a higher bulk modulus of 381(2) GPa. But, above 20 GPa, the bulk modulus is apparently reduced to 268(4) GPa, which is similar to the reported bulk modulus of 208-296 GPa for the bulk Ge3N4. Thus, a threshold pressure of ∼20 GPa was determined that signifies the onset of size-induced disappearance of elastic stiffness in nanocrystalline Ge3N 4. Enhanced surface energy contributions to the shell layers of nanoparticles and resulting effect on the corresponding large d spacing planes are used to elucidate the observed phenomenon. This study provides a reasonable explanation for the different compressibility properties of numerous nanocrystals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14151-14153
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number51
StatePublished - Dec 25 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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