Thursday, July 4, 2013

1307.1069 (Chi-Cheng Lee et al.)

First-principles study on competing phases of silicene: Effect of
substrate and strain

Chi-Cheng Lee, Antoine Fleurence, Rainer Friedlein, Yukiko Yamada-Takamura, Taisuke Ozaki
The stability and electronic structure of competing silicene phases under in-plane compressive stress, either free-standing or on the ZrB$_2$(0001) surface, has been studied by first-principles calculations. A particular ($\sqrt{3}\times\sqrt{3}$)-reconstructed structural modification was found to be stable on the ZrB$_2$(0001) surface under epitaxial conditions. In contrast to the planar and buckled forms of free-standing silicene, in this "planar-like" phase, all but one of the Si atoms per hexagon reside in a single plane. While without substrate, for a wide range of strain, this phase is energetically less favorable than the buckled one, it is calculated to represent the ground state on the ZrB$_2$(0001) surface. The atomic positions are found to be determined by the interactions with the nearest neighbor Zr atoms competing with Si-Si bonding interactions provided by the constraint of the honeycomb lattice.
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