Insights into regularity of 2D 3d transition metal monocarbides formation
Recently several theoretical predictions were made about 2D planar FeC, CoC, NiC, and CuC while their bulk phases still remain unknown. Here, we present generalization of 2D family of 3d transition metal monocarbides (TMC) by searching their stable configurations with DFT methods and evolutionary algorithm. It is found that in the TMC row (TM = Sc-Cu) a tendency of 3D rocksalt phase formation is monotonously interchanging by 2D phase appearance, namely planar orthorhombic TMC characterized by carbon dimers inside metal hexagons. Among them, orthorhombic CoC and FeC monocarbides would be likely formed rather than any other 2D metal carbide phase or metal/graphene interface.