Uncovering kinetic pathways of non-classical multistep nucleation at the atomic scale is critical to understanding complex microscopic mechanisms of heterogeneous nucleation and crystallization.
However, due to the intricacies in tackling such challenging topics experimentally, the structure of intermediate states and the effect of temperature on multistep nucleation at the atomic scale are still not fully understood.
In their recent article published in Nanoscale Horizons researchers from the INL Nanostructured Materials Group show direct in-situ atomic-scale observations of kinetic processes of interfacial multistep nucleation pathways at the atomic scale using an aberration-corrected transmission electron microscope. They provide direct evidence to temperature-dependent multistep nucleation pathways in a supported bismuth system at the atomic scale.
This study highlights the importance of temperature on heterogeneous nucleation and crystallization dynamics, which advances our understanding of non-classical multistep heterogeneous nucleation and helps to clarify the atomic origin of temperature effected behaviour in nanomaterials and heterostructures.