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Physics  2011 

Electronic structure and chemical bonding of nc-TiC/a-C nanocomposites

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.80.235108

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Abstract:

The electronic structure of nanocrystalline (nc-) TiC/amorphous C nanocomposites has been investigated by soft x-ray absorption and emission spectroscopy. The measured spectra at the Ti 2p and C 1s thresholds of the nanocomposites are compared to those of Ti metal and amorphous C. The corresponding intensities of the electronic states for the valence and conduction bands in the nanocomposites are shown to strongly depend on the TiC carbide grain size. An increased charge-transfer between the Ti 3d-eg states and the C 2p states has been identified as the grain size decreases, causing an increased ionicity of the TiC nanocrystallites. It is suggested that the charge-transfer occurs at the interface between the nanocrystalline TiC and the amorphous C matrix and represents an interface bonding which may be essential for the understanding of the properties of nc-TiC/amorphous C and similar nanocomposites.

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