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ACS Nano. 2019 Apr 23;13(4):3816-3822. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.8b09339. Epub 2019 Mar 18.

Borophene Synthesis on Au(111).

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Center for Nanoscale Materials, Argonne National Laboratory , 9700 South Cass Avenue, Building 440 , Argonne , Illinois 60439 , United States.
Department of Materials Science and Engineering , Northwestern University , 2220 Campus Drive , Evanston , Illinois 60208 , United States.
Applied Physics Graduate Program , Northwestern University , 2220 Campus Drive , Evanston , Illinois 60208 , United States.
Department of Materials Science and NanoEngineering and Department of Chemistry , Rice University , Houston , Texas 77005 , United States.
State Key Laboratory of Mechanics and Control of Mechanical Structures and Institute of Nano Science , Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics , Nanjing 210016 , China.
Department of Chemistry , Northwestern University , 2220 Campus Drive , Evanston , Illinois 60208 , United States.


Borophene (the first two-dimensional (2D) allotrope of boron) is emerging as a groundbreaking system for boron-based chemistry and, more broadly, the field of low-dimensional materials. Exploration of the phase space for growth is critical because borophene is a synthetic 2D material that does not have a bulk layered counterpart and thus cannot be isolated via exfoliation methods. Herein, we report synthesis of borophene on Au(111) substrates. Unlike previously studied growth on Ag substrates, boron diffuses into Au at elevated temperatures and segregates to the surface to form borophene islands as the substrate cools. These observations are supported by ab initio modeling of interstitial boron diffusion into the Au lattice. Borophene synthesis also modifies the surface reconstruction of the Au(111) substrate, resulting in a trigonal network that templates growth at low coverage. This initial growth is composed of discrete borophene nanoclusters, whose shape and size are consistent with theoretical predictions. As the concentration of boron increases, nanotemplating breaks down and larger borophene islands are observed. Spectroscopic measurements reveal that borophene grown on Au(111) possesses a metallic electronic structure, suggesting potential applications in 2D plasmonics, superconductivity, interconnects, electrodes, and transparent conductors.


Au(111); allotrope; borophene; scanning tunneling microscopy; synthesis; two-dimensional materials


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