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Sol Lee, Yangjin Lee*, Li Ping Ding, Kihyun Lee, Feng Ding*, and Kwanpyo Kim*
Atomically Sharp, Closed Bilayer Phosphorene Edges by Self-Passivation
ACS NANO, 16 (8), 12822–12830
Date: Jul 29, 2022

Two-dimensional crystals’ edge structures not only influence their overall properties but also dictate their formation due to edge-mediated synthesis and etching processes. Edges must be carefully examined because they often display complex, unexpected features at the atomic scale, such as reconstruction, functionalization, and uncontrolled contamination. Here, we examine atomic-scale edge structures and uncover reconstruction behavior in bilayer phosphorene. We use in situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) of phosphorene/graphene specimens at elevated temperatures to minimize surface contamination and reduce e-beam damage, allowing us to observe intrinsic edge configurations. The bilayer zigzag (ZZ) edge was found to be the most stable edge configuration under e-beam irradiation. Through first-principles calculations and TEM image analysis under various tilting and defocus conditions, we find that bilayer ZZ edges undergo edge reconstruction and so acquire closed, self-passivated edge configurations. The extremely low formation energy of the closed bilayer ZZ edge and its high stability against e-beam irradiation are confirmed by first-principles calculations. Moreover, we fabricate bilayer phosphorene nanoribbons with atomically sharp closed ZZ edges. The identified bilayer ZZ edges will aid in the fundamental understanding of the synthesis, degradation, reconstruction, and applications of phosphorene and related structures.

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