Borophene (the first two-dimensional (2D) allotrope of boron) is emerging as a groundbreaking system for boron-based chemistry and, more broadly, the field of low-dimensional materials. Exploration of the phase space for growth is critical because borophene is a synthetic 2D material that does not have a bulk layered counterpart and thus cannot be isolated via exfoliation methods. Herein, we report synthesis of borophene on Au(111) substrates. Unlike previously studied growth on Ag substrates, boron diffuses into Au at elevated temperatures and segregates to the surface to form borophene islands as the substrate cools. These observations are supported by ab initio modeling of interstitial boron diffusion into the Au lattice. Borophene synthesis also modifies the surface reconstruction of the Au(111) substrate, resulting in a trigonal network that templates growth at low coverage. This initial growth is composed of discrete borophene nanoclusters, whose shape and size are consistent with theoretical predictions. As the concentration of boron increases, nanotemplating breaks down and larger borophene islands are observed. Spectroscopic measurements reveal that borophene grown on Au(111) possesses a metallic electronic structure, suggesting potential applications in 2D plasmonics, superconductivity, interconnects, electrodes, and transparent conductors.
- scanning tunneling microscopy
- two-dimensional materials
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)