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Creating a Nanospace under an h‑BN Cover for Adlayer Growth on Nickel(111)

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journal contribution
posted on 22.12.2015, 00:00 by Yang Yang, Qiang Fu, Haobo Li, Mingming Wei, Jianping Xiao, Wei Wei, Xinhe Bao
Heterostructures of two-dimensional (2D) atomic crystals have attracted increasing attention, while fabrication of the 2D stacking structures remains a challenge. In this work, we present a route toward formation of 2D heterostructures via confined growth of a 2D adlayer underneath the other 2D overlayer. Taking a hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) monolayer on Ni(111) as a model system, both epitaxial and nonepitaxial h-BN islands have been identified on the Ni surface. Surface science studies combined with density functional theory calculations reveal that the nonepitaxial h-BN islands interact weakly with the Ni(111) surface, which creates a 2D nanospace underneath the h-BN islands. An additional h-BN or graphene layer can be grown in the space between the nonepitaxial h-BN islands and Ni(111) surface, forming h-BN/h-BN bilayer structures and h-BN/graphene heterostructures. These results suggest that confined growth under 2D covers may provide an effective route to obtain stacks of 2D atomic crystals.