Resolving the structure of the striped Ge layer on Ag(111):Ag2Ge surface alloy with alternate fcc and hcp domains
Physical review B
Two-dimensional (2D) honeycomb lattices beyond graphene, such as germanene, promise new physical properties such as quantum spin Hall effect. While there have been many claims of growth of germanene, the lack of precise structural characterization of the epitaxial layers synthesized hinders further research. The striped layer formed by Ge deposition on Ag(111) has been recently ascribed as a stretched germanene layer. Using surface X-ray diffraction and density functional theory calculations,
... demonstrate that it corresponds in fact to a Ag_2Ge surface alloy with an atomic density 6.45 atomic density. The overall structure is formed by stripes associated with a face-centered cubic top-layer alignment, alternating with stripes associated with an hexagonal-close-packed top-layer alignment, in great analogy with the (22×√(3)) Au(111) reconstruction.