Evidence of a graphene-like Sn-sheet on a Au(111) substrate: Electronic structure and transport properties from first principles calculations

Document Type


Publication Date



This journal is © the Owner Societies. Two dimensional nanostructures of group IV elements have attracted a great deal of attention because of their fundamental and technological applications. A graphene-like single layer of tin atoms, commonly called stanene, has recently been predicted to behave like a quantum spin Hall insulator. Here we report the atomic structure, stability and electron transport properties of stanene stabilized on a gold substrate. The optimization of geometry and electronic structure was carried out using a plane-wave based pseudo-potential approach. This work is divided into three parts: (i) the nature of chemical interaction between tin atoms and the gold support, (ii) the geometrical shape and electronic structure of the tin layer on the gold support and (iii) the electron transport behavior of the gold supported tin layer. The results show that tin atoms bind to the gold support through strong chemical bonds and significant electronic charge transfer occurs from tin to the gold support. Remarkably, for a layer of tin atoms, while a buckled structure is preferred in the free state, a planar graphene-like atomic arrangement is stabilized on the gold support. This structural change corroborates the metal-like band structure of the planar stanene in comparison to the semi-metallic buckled configuration. The tunneling current of the supported tin layer shows Ohmic-like behavior and the calculated STM pattern of the supported tin layer shows distinct images of 'holes', characteristic of the hexagonal lattice.

Publication Title

Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics