Buckled silicene formation on Ir(111)

Nano Lett. 2013 Feb 13;13(2):685-90. doi: 10.1021/nl304347w. Epub 2013 Jan 25.


Silicene, a two-dimensional (2D) honeycomb structure similar to graphene, has been successfully fabricated on an Ir(111) substrate. It is characterized as a (√7×√7) superstructure with respect to the substrate lattice, as revealed by low energy electron diffraction and scanning tunneling microscopy. Such a superstructure coincides with the (√3×√3) superlattice of silicene. First-principles calculations confirm that this is a (√3×√3)silicene/(√7×√7)Ir(111) configuration and that it has a buckled conformation. Importantly, the calculated electron localization function shows that the silicon adlayer on the Ir(111) substrate has 2D continuity. This work provides a method to fabricate high-quality silicene and an explanation for the formation of the buckled silicene sheet.