The instability of silicene on Ag(111)

Adil Acun, Bene Poelsema, Henricus J.W. Zandvliet, Raoul van Gastel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)


We have used low energy electron microscopy to directly visualize the formation and stability of silicene layers on a Ag(111) substrate. Theoretical calculations call into question the stability of this graphene-like analog of silicon. We find that silicene layers are intrinsically unstable against the formation of an “sp3-like” hybridized, bulk-like silicon structure. The irreversible formation of this bulk-like structure is triggered by thermal Si adatoms that are created by the silicene layer itself. To add injury to insult, this same instability prevents the formation of a fully closed silicene layer or a thicker bilayer, rendering the future large-scale fabrication of silicene layers on Ag substrates unlikely
Original languageEnglish
Article number263119
Pages (from-to)263119-1-263119-4
JournalApplied physics letters
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • METIS-300292
  • IR-90072


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