On the identification of twinning in body-centred cubic nanoparticles.
Many metals and alloys, including Fe and W, adopt body-centred cubic (BCC) crystal structures and nanoparticles of these metals are gaining significant scientific and industrial relevance. Twinning has a marked effect on catalytic activity, yet there is little evidence for or against the presence of twinning in BCC nanoparticles. Here, we explore the potential shapes of twinned BCC nanoparticles, and predict their electron microscopy and diffraction signatures. BCC single crystal and twinned shapes often appear similar and diffraction patterns along common, low-index zone axes are often indistinguishable, casting doubt on many claims of single crystallinity. We conclude by outlining how nanoparticles can be characterized to conclusively prove the presence or absence of twinning.
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/L015978/1)