Stability and universal encapsulation of epitaxial Xenes
In the realm of two-dimensional material frameworks, single-element graphene-like lattices, known as Xenes, pose several issues concerning their environmental stability, with implications for their use in technology transfer to a device layout. In this Discussion, we scrutinize the chemical reactivity of epitaxial silicene, taken as a case in point, in oxygen-rich environments. The oxidation of silicene is detailed by means of a photoemission spectroscopy study upon carefully dosing molecular oxygen under vacuum and subsequent exposure to ambient conditions, showing different chemical reactivity. We therefore propose a sequential Al2O3 encapsulation of silicene as a solution to face degradation, proving its effectiveness by virtue of the interaction between silicene and a silver substrate. Based on this method, we generalize our encapsulation scheme to a large number of metal-supported Xenes by taking into account the case of epitaxial phosphorene-on-gold.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Chemistry of 2-dimensional materials: beyond graphene