"Buckled two-dimensional Xene sheets"

Alessandro Molle: Joshua Goldberger , Michel Houssa, Yong Xu, Shou-Cheng Zhang and Deji Akinwande; Nat Mater, 01/16/17.

Additional Authors: Joshua Goldberger , Michel Houssa, Yong Xu, Shou-Cheng Zhang and Deji Akinwande


Silicene, germanene and stanene are part of a monoelemental class of two-dimensional (2D) crystals termed 2D-Xenes (X = Si, Ge, Sn and so on) which, together with their ligand-functionalized derivatives referred to as Xanes, are comprised of group IVA atoms arranged in a honeycomb lattice — similar to graphene but with varying degrees of buckling. Their electronic structure ranges from trivial insulators, to semiconductors with tunable gaps, to semi-metallic, depending on the substrate, chemical functionalization and strain. More than a dozen different topological insulator states are predicted to emerge, including the quantum spin Hall state at room temperature, which, if realized, would enable new classes of nanoelectronic and spintronic devices, such as the topological field-effect transistor. The electronic structure can be tuned, for example, by changing the group IVA element, the degree of spin–orbit coupling, the functionalization chemistry or the substrate, making the 2D-Xene systems promising multifunctional 2D materials for nanotechnology. This Perspective highlights the current state of the art and future opportunities in the manipulation and stability of these materials, their functions and applications, and novel device concepts.