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Chin. Phys. B, 2022, Vol. 31(9): 096801    DOI: 10.1088/1674-1056/ac7867

Selective formation of ultrathin PbSe on Ag(111)

Jing Wang(王静)1, Meysam Bagheri Tagani2, Li Zhang(张力)1,†, Yu Xia(夏雨)1, Qilong Wu(吴奇龙)1, Bo Li(黎博)1, Qiwei Tian(田麒玮)1, Yuan Tian(田园)1, Long-Jing Yin(殷隆晶)1, Lijie Zhang(张利杰)1, and Zhihui Qin(秦志辉)1,‡
1 Key Laboratory for Micro/Nano Optoelectronic Devices of Ministry of Education&Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory of Low-Dimensional Structural Physics and Devices, School of Physics and Electronics, Hunan University, Changsha 410082, China;
2 Department of Physics, University of Guilan, P. O. Box 41335-1914, Rasht, Iran
Abstract  Two-dimensional (2D) semiconductors, such as lead selenide (PbSe), locate at the key position of next-generation devices. However, the ultrathin PbSe is still rarely reported experimentally, particularly on metal substrates. Here, we report the ultrathin PbSe synthesized via sequential molecular beam epitaxy on Ag(111). The scanning tunneling microscopy is used to resolve the atomic structure and confirms the selective formation of ultrathin PbSe through the reaction between Ag5Se2 and Pb, as further evidenced by the theoretical calculation. It is also found that the increased accumulation of Pb leads to the improved quality of PbSe with larger and more uniform films. The detailed analysis demonstrates the bilayer structure of synthesized PbSe, which could be deemed to achieve the 2D limit. The differential conductance spectrum reveals a metallic feature of the PbSe film, indicating a certain interaction between PbSe and Ag(111). Moreover, the moiré pattern originated from the lattice mismatch between PbSe and Ag(111) is observed, and this moiré system provides the opportunity for studying physics under periodical modulation and for device applications. Our work illustrates a pathway to selectively synthesize ultrathin PbSe on metal surfaces and suggests a 2D experimental platform to explore PbSe-based opto-electronic and thermoelectric phenomena.
Keywords:  ultrathin lead selenide (PbSe)      scanning tunneling microscopy/spectroscopy (STM/STS)      molecular beam epitaxy  
Received:  07 May 2022      Revised:  29 May 2022      Accepted manuscript online:  14 June 2022
PACS:  68.37.Ef (Scanning tunneling microscopy (including chemistry induced with STM))  
  68.55.-a (Thin film structure and morphology)  
  81.15.Hi (Molecular, atomic, ion, and chemical beam epitaxy)  
Fund: Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 12174096, 51772087, 51972106, 11904094, 11804089 and 12174095), the Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. XDB30000000), and the Natural Science Foundation of Hunan Province, China (Grant Nos. 2019JJ50073 and 2021JJ20026). The authors acknowledge the financial support from the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities of China.
Corresponding Authors:  Li Zhang, Zhihui Qin     E-mail:;

Cite this article: 

Jing Wang(王静), Meysam Bagheri Tagani, Li Zhang(张力), Yu Xia(夏雨), Qilong Wu(吴奇龙), Bo Li(黎博), Qiwei Tian(田麒玮), Yuan Tian(田园), Long-Jing Yin(殷隆晶), Lijie Zhang(张利杰), and Zhihui Qin(秦志辉) Selective formation of ultrathin PbSe on Ag(111) 2022 Chin. Phys. B 31 096801

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