Artificial two-dimensional (2D) materials, which host electronic or spatial structure and properties not typical for their bulk allotropes, can be grown epitaxially on atomically flat surfaces; the design and investigation of these materials are thus at the forefront of current research. Here we report the formation of borophene, a planar boron allotrope, on the surface of Ir(111) by exposing it to the flux of elemental boron and consequent annealing. By means of scanning tunneling microscopy and density functional theory calculations, we reveal the complex structure of this borophene, different from all planar boron allotropes reported earlier. This structure forms as a single phase on iridium substrate in a wide range of experimental conditions and may be then decoupled from the substrate via intercalation. These findings allow for production of large, defect-free borophene sheets and advance theoretical understanding of polymorphism in borophene.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- density functional theory
- scanning tunnelling microscopy
- two-dimensional materials