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Growth, domain structure, and atomic adsorption sites of hBN on the Ni(111) surface

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.5.094001 DOI Help

Authors: Miriam Raths (Peter Grünberg Institut (PGI-3), Forschungszentrum Jülich; Jülich Aachen Research Alliance (JARA) – Fundamentals of Future Information Technology; RWTH Aachen University) , Christina Schott (University of Kaiserslautern) , Johannes Knippertz (University of Kaiserslautern) , Markus Franke (Peter Grünberg Institut (PGI-3), Forschungszentrum Jülich; Jülich Aachen Research Alliance (JARA) – Fundamentals of Future Information Technology) , You-Ron Lin (Peter Grünberg Institut (PGI-3), Forschungszentrum Jülich; Jülich Aachen Research Alliance (JARA) – Fundamentals of Future Information Technology; RWTH Aachen University) , Anja Haags (Peter Grünberg Institut (PGI-3), Forschungszentrum Jülich; Jülich Aachen Research Alliance (JARA) – Fundamentals of Future Information Technology; RWTH Aachen University) , Martin Aeschlimann (University of Kaiserslautern) , Christian Kumpf (Peter Grünberg Institut (PGI-3), Forschungszentrum Jülich; Jülich Aachen Research Alliance (JARA) – Fundamentals of Future Information Technology; RWTH Aachen University) , Benjamin Stadtmüller (University of Kaiserslautern; Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Physical Review Materials , VOL 5

State: Published (Approved)
Published: September 2021
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 18787

Abstract: One of the most important functionalities of the atomically thin insulator hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) is its ability to chemically and electronically decouple functional materials from highly reactive surfaces. It is therefore of utmost importance to uncover its structural properties on surfaces on an atomic and mesoscopic length scale. In this paper, we quantify the relative coverages of structurally different domains of a hBN layer on the Ni(111) surface using low-energy electron microscopy and the normal incidence x-ray standing wave technique. We find that hBN nucleates on defect sites of the Ni(111) surface and predominantly grows in two epitaxial domains that are rotated by 60 ∘ with respect to each other. The two domains reveal identical adsorption heights, indicating a similar chemical interaction strength with the Ni(111) surface. The different azimuthal orientations of these domains originate from different adsorption sites of N and B. We demonstrate that the majority ( ≈ 70 % ) of hBN domains exhibit a ( N , B ) = ( top , fcc ) adsorption site configuration while the minority ( ≈ 30 % ) show a ( N , B ) = ( top , hcp ) configuration. Our study hence underlines the crucial role of the atomic adsorption configuration in the mesoscopic domain structures of in situ fabricated two-dimensional materials on highly reactive surfaces.

Journal Keywords: Structural properties; 2-dimensional systems; Honeycomb lattice; Monolayer films; Low-energy electron microscopy; X-ray standing waves

Subject Areas: Materials, Physics


Instruments: I09-Surface and Interface Structural Analysis

Added On: 21/09/2021 13:37

Discipline Tags:

Materials Science Physics Hard condensed matter - structures Surfaces interfaces and thin films

Technical Tags:

Diffraction X-ray Standing Wave (XSW)