Say hello to stanene

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  • Published: Aug 7, 2015
  • Author: Steve Down
  • Channels: Atomic / UV/Vis Spectroscopy
thumbnail image: Say hello to stanene

Scientists in the US and China have produced stanene experimentally for the first time, allowing its insulating and thermoelectric properties to be studied experimentally rather than theoretically.

Stanene is closely related to graphene, silicene and germacene and was produced by molecular beam epitaxy. Its structure was confirmed as a biatomic layer of tin in which the layers are stacked in a buckled honeycomb lattice using scanning tunnel microscopy.

The compound is predicted to be a topological insulator, in which electrons move along the edge of the structure rather than through the middle, but photoemission spectroscopic studies and theoretical calculations were inconclusive, due to interaction between stanene and the substrate bismuth telluride upon which it was prepared. Stanene synthesis on a different substrate might be more revealing.

If its insulating properties can be proven, stanene will become a fascinating candidate for semiconductor applications.

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