Metastable single crystals of nonstoichiometric Pb1-xTe are obtained by rapid cooling from the melt. The composition and crystallographic morphology are studied using X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and electron backscatter diffraction. Most single crystals have cubic, pyramidal, or hemispherical shapes with sizes ranging from 50 to 400 mu m. All crystals adopt the same face-centered cubic rock salt structure, and the crystal growth direction is <100 >. The bulk part of the rapidly cooled material solidifies in the form of a Te-rich polycrystalline material in which grains are separated by the PbTe-Te eutectic phase. The stabilization of nonstoichiometric Pb1-xTe provides further scope for the optimization of lead telluride-based thermoelectric materials.
- lead telluride
- single crystals
- electron backscatter diffraction