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Bulk Silicon Crystals with the High Boron Content, Si1–xBx: Two Semiconductors Form an Unusual Metal

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Bayerisches Geoinstitut, Universität Bayreuth, Universitätsstrasse 30, D-95447, Bayreuth, Germany
¥ Key Laboratory of Metastable Materials Science and Technology, Yanshan University, Qinhuangdao 066004, China
Institute of Metal Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Urals Division, GSP-170, 18 S. Kovalevskaya Str., Yekaterinburg 620219, Russia
§ GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences 3.3, Telegrafenberg, D-14473 Potsdam, Germany
Swiss-Norwegian Beamlines at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, F-38043 Grenoble, France
Material Physics and Technology at Extreme Conditions, Laboratory of Crystallography, University of Bayreuth, D-95440 Bayreuth, Germany
Cite this: Chem. Mater. 2014, 26, 18, 5274–5281
Publication Date (Web):August 25, 2014
Copyright © 2014 American Chemical Society

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    Silicon is a key technological material, and its controlled doping is one of the simple and effective ways which are applied for creation of new advanced materials with tunable optoelectronic properties. Boron was known to be a dopant that can dramatically change the properties of silicon. However, a limited solubility of boron atoms in silicon matrix strongly restricted creation of bulk diamond-type structured Si–B alloys with the high boron content exceeding 0.5–1 at. %. In this work we show that bulk Si1–xBx alloys with a rather high boron content (e.g., 2.4 at. %) may be fabricated by alloying of boron and silicon at high temperatures above the melting point of silicon and high pressure. We extensively investigated the electronic transport and optical properties of these alloys using several techniques, including electrical resistivity, Hall effect, magnetoresistance, Raman, IR and optical spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction. We found that Si1–xBx solid solutions are metals that possess very unusual optical properties, e.g., they demonstrate the antiresonant Raman spectra and the loss of the reflectivity in the near-IR range. Our work indicates new perspectives in creation and applications of Si1–xBx solid solutions with the diamond-type structure.

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    A summary of Si–B samples synthesized at HP-HT conditions. This material is available free of charge via the Internet at

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