Synthesis of Quantum-Confined Borophene Nanoribbons

ACS Nano. 2024 Jan 9;18(1):483-491. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.3c08089. Epub 2023 Nov 8.


Borophene nanoribbons (BNRs) are one-dimensional strips of atomically thin boron expected to exhibit quantum-confined electronic properties that are not present in extended two-dimensional borophene. While the parent material borophene has been experimentally shown to possess anisotropic metallicity and diverse polymorphic structures, the atomically precise synthesis of nanometer-wide BNRs has not yet been achieved. Here, we demonstrate the synthesis of multiple BNR polymorphs with well-defined edge configurations within the nanometer-scale terraces of vicinal Ag(977). Through atomic-scale imaging, spectroscopy, and first-principles calculations, the synthesized BNR polymorphs are characterized and found to possess distinct edge structures and electronic properties. For single-phase BNRs, v1/6-BNRs and v1/5-BNRs adopt reconstructed armchair edges and sawtooth edges, respectively. In addition, the electronic properties of single-phase v1/6-BNRs and v1/5-BNRs are dominated by Friedel oscillations and striped moiré patterns, respectively. On the other hand, mixed-phase BNRs possess quantum-confined states with increasing nodes in the electronic density of states at elevated biases. Overall, the high degree of polymorphism and diverse edge topologies in borophene nanoribbons provide a rich quantum platform for studying one-dimensional electronic states.

Keywords: Friedel oscillations; one-dimensional nanoribbons; quantum-confined states; scanning tunneling microscopy; two-dimensional boron.