Silicene, the silicon analogue for graphene, has recently been discovered. It retains many of the interesting phenomena of graphene (2D geometry, strength, durability, the Dirac cone at the Fermi level), however it displays a significant buckling out of plane relating to the preference of silicon to form sp3, rather than sp2, hybridised bonds. This buckling is predicted to allow greater control over the electronic properties of silicene than has been traditionally been found in graphene, with silicene predicted to have a quantum spin Hall-effect and applications in valleytronics. Additionally, the use of silicon, rather than carbon, will allow silicene devices to be more readily integrated into current electronic technology.
This project proposes to develop recipes for creating silicene on new substrates (like monolayer boron nitride and europium), and then doping the silicene layers (with, for example, boron or phosphorous). These layers will be characterised by complementary spectroscopy and microscopy techniques, to gain a wealth of information on the chemical, electronic and geometric structure of the silicene and doped silicene layers. Most notably angle resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES) and scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) will be used to study these layers. ARPES provides a clear insight into the occupied band structure of the layer, by providing a k-space map near the Fermi level. STM will be used to probe, in real space, the topography of the silicine and to study the assembly and ordering of the layer; furthermore STM will be necessary in order to identify the expected honeycomb structure, which will be indicative of a 2D sp2-hybridised material, is present.
Fields of science
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