Following the first experimental realization of graphene, other ultrathin materials with unprecedented electronic properties have been explored, with particular attention given to the heavy group-IV elements Si, Ge and Sn. Two-dimensional buckled Si-based silicene has been recently realized by molecular beam epitaxy growth, whereas Ge-based germanene was obtained by molecular beam epitaxy and mechanical exfoliation. However, the synthesis of Sn-based stanene has proved challenging so far. Here, we report the successful fabrication of 2D stanene by molecular beam epitaxy, confirmed by atomic and electronic characterization using scanning tunnelling microscopy and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy, in combination with first-principles calculations. The synthesis of stanene and its derivatives will stimulate further experimental investigation of their theoretically predicted properties, such as a 2D topological insulating behaviour with a very large bandgap, and the capability to support enhanced thermoelectric performance, topological superconductivity and the near-room-temperature quantum anomalous Hall effect.
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The work in SJTU was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (Grant Nos 2013CB921902, 2012CB927401, 2011CB922202), NSFC (Grant Nos 11227404, 11274228, 11174199, 11374206, 11134008, 91421312, 91221302) and Shanghai Committee of Science and Technology, China (Grant Nos 12JC1405300, 13QH1401500). The work in Stanford is supported by the NSF under grant number DMR-1305677 and by FAME, one of six centres of STARnet, a Semiconductor Research Corporation programme sponsored by MARCO and DARPA. D.Q. acknowledges support from the Top-notch Young Talents Program and the Program for Professor of Special Appointment (Eastern Scholar) at Shanghai Institutions of Higher Learning. C.-l.G. acknowledges support from the Shu Guang project by the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission and Shanghai Education Development Foundation. D.-d.G. acknowledges support from the Open Research Fund Program of the State Key Laboratory of Low-Dimensional Quantum Physics (Grant No. KF201310) and Shanghai Pujiang Program (Grant No. 14PJ1404600). The Advanced Light Source is supported by the Director, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, of the US Department of Energy under Contract DE-AC02-05CH11231. The work is also supported by ENN.
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Scientific Reports (2019)