Combined AFM and STM measurements of a silicene sheet grown on the Ag(111) surface.

Research paper by Z Z Majzik, M M Rachid Tchalala, M M Svec, P P Hapala, H H Enriquez, A A Kara, A J AJ Mayne, G G Dujardin, P P Jelínek, H H Oughaddou

Indexed on: 16 May '13Published on: 16 May '13Published in: Journal of physics. Condensed matter : an Institute of Physics journal


In this paper, we present the first non-contact atomic force microscopy (nc-AFM) of a silicene on a silver (Ag) surface, obtained by combining non-contact atomic force microscopy and scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). STM images over large areas of silicene grown on the Ag(111) surface show both (√13 × √13)R13.9° and (4 × 4) superstructures. For the widely observed (4 × 4) structure, the observed nc-AFM image is very similar to the one recorded by STM. The structure resolved by nc-AFM is compatible with only one out of two silicon atoms being visible. This indicates unambiguously a strong buckling of the silicene honeycomb layer.