Determination of Size Effects during the Phase Transition of a Nanoscale Au-Si Eutectic
Date of this Version10-9-2009
This document has been peer-reviewed.
The phase diagram of a nanoscale system can be substantially different than in the bulk, but quantitative measurements have proven elusive. Here we use in situ microscopy to observe a phase transition in a nanoscale system, together with a simple quantitative model to extract the size effects from these measurements. We expose a Au particle to disilane gas, and observe the transition from a two-phase Au þ AuSi system to single-phase AuSi. Size effects are evident in the nonlinear disappearance of the solid Au. Our analysis shows a substantial shift in the liquidus line, and a discontinuous change in the liquid composition at the transition. It also lets us estimate the liquid-solid interfacial free energy.