Nano-chessboard superlattices formed by spontaneous phase separation in oxides

Beth S. Guiton, Peter K. Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


The use of bottom-up fabrication of nanostructures for nanotechnology inherently requires two-dimensional control of the nanostructures at a particular surface. This could in theory be achieved crystallographically with a structure whose three-dimensional unit cell has two or moretuneabledimensions on the nanometre scale. Here, we present what is to our knowledge the first example of a truly periodic two-dimensional nanometre-scale phase separation in any inorganic material, and demonstrate our ability to tune the unit-cell dimensions. As such, it represents great potential for the use of standard ceramic processing methods for nanotechnology. The phase separation occurs spontaneously in the homologous series of the perovskite-based Li-ion conductor, (Nd2/3xLi3x)TiO3, to give two phases whose dimensions both extend into the nanometre scale. This unique feature could lead to its application as a template for the assembly of nanostructures or molecular monolayers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)586-591
Number of pages6
JournalNature Materials
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank I.-W. Chen, A. Rappe, I. Levin, J. Kikkawa and H. Wu for discussions and D. M. Yates for technical support. This work was supported by the MRSEC Program of the National Science Foundation under award # DMR05-20020. Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to B.S.G. or P.K.D. Supplementary Information accompanies this paper on

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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