Study of the specific features of single-crystal boron microstructure
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A complex study of the structure of β-boron single crystal grown by the floating-zone method, with sizes significantly exceeding the analogs known in the literature, has been performed. The study includes X-ray diffraction analysis and X-ray diffractometry (measurement of pole figures and rocking curves), performed on both laboratory and synchrotron sources; atomic-resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy with spherical aberration correction; and energy-dispersive microanalysis. X-ray diffraction analysis using synchrotron radiation has been used to refine the β-boron structure and find impurity Si atoms. The relative variations in the unit-cell parameters a and c for the crystal bulk are found to be δa/a ≈ 0.4 and δc/c ≈ 0.1%. X-ray diffractometry has revealed that the single-crystal growth axis coincides with the [\(2\bar 2013\)] crystallographic axis and makes an angle of 21.12° with the  threefold axis. Electron microscopy data have confirmed that the sample under study is a β-boron crystal, which may contain 0.3–0.4 at % Si as an impurity. Planar defects (stacking faults and dislocations) are found. The results of additional measurements of the temperature dependence of the thermal conductivity of the crystal in the range of 50–300 K are indicative of its high structural quality.
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