Annealing of ion-irradiated hexagonal boron nitride on Ir(111)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Annealing of a monolayer of hexagonal boron nitride destroyed by Xe ion irradiation gives rise to rich structural phenomena investigated here through a combination of scanning tunneling microscopy, low-energy electron diffraction, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and density functional theory calculations. We find selective pinning of vacancy clusters at a single specific location within the moiré formed by hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) and the Ir substrate, crystalline Xe at room temperature of monolayer and bilayer thickness sealed inside h-BN blisters, standalone blisters only bound to the metal at temperatures where boron nitride on Ir(111) decomposes, and finally a pronounced threefold symmetry of all morphological features due to the preferential formation of boron-terminated zigzag edges that firmly bind to the substrate. The investigations give clear insight into the relevance of the substrate for the damage creation and annealing in a two-dimensional layer material.


  • Philipp Valerius
  • Charlotte Herbig
  • Moritz Will
  • Mohammad A. Arman
  • Jan Knudsen
  • Vasile Caciuc
  • Nicolae Atodiresei
  • Thomas Michely
External organisations
  • University of Cologne
  • Jülich Research Centre
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Condensed Matter Physics
Original languageEnglish
Article number235410
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec 8
Publication categoryResearch