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Polyhedral and cylindrical structures of tungsten disulphide


FOLLOWING the discovery of C60(ref. 1) and the advent of fullerene chemistry, considerable attention has been directed towards the associated cylindrical2,3 and polyhedral4,5 forms of graphite. To date, however, observations of such closed structures have been limited to the carbon system. Here we report the formation of equivalent stable structures in the layered semiconductor tungsten disulphide. After the heating of thin tungsten films in an atmosphere of hydrogen sulphide, transmission electron microscopy reveals a variety of concentric polyhedral and cylindrical structures (ranging in size from <10 to >100 nm) growing from the amorphous tungsten matrix. The closed nature of the structures is verified by electron diffraction and lattice imaging. As with the carbon system, complete closure of the tungsten disulphide layers requires the presence of structural defects (for example, edge dislocations), or the arrangement of atoms in polyhedra other than a planar hexagonal geometry.

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Tenne, R., Margulis, L., Genut, M. et al. Polyhedral and cylindrical structures of tungsten disulphide. Nature 360, 444–446 (1992).

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