Issue 26, 2023

Crystal phase engineering of silicene by Sn-modified Ag(111)


The synthesis of silicene by direct growth on silver is characterized by the formation of multiple phases and domains, posing severe constraints on the spatial charge conduction towards a technological transfer of silicene to electronic transport devices. Here we engineer the silicene/silver interface by two schemes, namely, either through decoration by Sn atoms, forming an Ag2Sn surface alloy, or by buffering the interface with a stanene layer. Whereas in both cases Raman spectra confirm the typical features as expected from silicene, by electron diffraction we observe that a very well-ordered single-phase 4 × 4 monolayer silicene is stabilized by the decorated surface, while the buffered interface exhibits a sharp Image ID:d3nr01581e-t1.gif phase at all silicon coverages. Both interfaces also stabilize the ordered growth of a Image ID:d3nr01581e-t2.gif phase in the multilayer range, featuring a single rotational domain. Theoretical ab initio models are used to investigate low-buckled silicene phases (4 × 4 and a competing Image ID:d3nr01581e-t3.gif one) and various Image ID:d3nr01581e-t4.gif structures, supporting the experimental findings. This study provides new and promising technology routes to manipulate the silicene structure by controlled phase selection and single-crystal silicene growth on a wafer-scale.

Graphical abstract: Crystal phase engineering of silicene by Sn-modified Ag(111)

Supplementary files

Article information

Article type
05 Apr 2023
01 May 2023
First published
02 May 2023
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

Nanoscale, 2023,15, 11005-11012

Crystal phase engineering of silicene by Sn-modified Ag(111)

S. Achilli, D. S. Dhungana, F. Orlando, C. Grazianetti, C. Martella, A. Molle and G. Fratesi, Nanoscale, 2023, 15, 11005 DOI: 10.1039/D3NR01581E

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