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Keywords:

  • helical structures;
  • microtubes;
  • silicon;
  • X-ray diffraction;
  • Zintl phases
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

A new twist on semiconductors: The evaporation of Na from ionic intermetallic NaSi at 800 °C leads to the formation of double-helical silicon microtubes. The tubes have nanogranular or smooth surfaces and a twinned structure with voids in the tube wall. A mechanism is proposed for the formation of the double-helical microtubes.