A family of superconducting boron crystals made of stacked bilayer borophenes†
Monolayer borophenes tend to be easily oxidized, while thicker borophenes have stronger antioxidation properties. Herein, we proposed four novel metallic boron crystals by stacking the experimentally synthesized borophenes, and one of the crystals has been reported in our previous experiments. Bilayer units tend to act as blocks for crystals as determined by bonding analyses. Their kinetic, thermodynamic and mechanical stabilities are confirmed by our calculated phonon spectra, molecular dynamics and elastic constants. Our proposed allotropes are more stable than the boron α-Ga phase below 1000 K at ambient pressure. Some of them become more stable than the α-rh or γ-B28 phases at appropriate external pressure. More importantly, our calculations show that three of the proposed crystals are phonon-mediated superconductors with critical temperatures of about 5–10 K, higher than those of most superconducting elemental solids, in contrast to typical boron crystals with significant band gaps. Our study indicates a novel preparation method for metallic and superconducting boron crystals dispensing with high pressure.