Periodic corner holes on the Si(111)-7x7 surface can trap silver atoms

Osiecki, Jacek R., Suto, Shozo and Chutia, Arunabhiram (2022) Periodic corner holes on the Si(111)-7x7 surface can trap silver atoms. Nature Communication, 13 (2973). ISSN 2041-1723

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-29768-6

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Periodic corner holes on the Si(111)-7x7 surface can trap silver atoms
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Abstract

Advancement in nanotechnology to a large extent depends on the ability to manipulate materials at the atomistic level, including positioning single atoms on the active sites of the surfaces of interest, promoting strong chemical bonding. Here, we report a long-time confinement of a single Ag atom inside a corner hole (CH) of the technologically relevant Si(111)-7x7surface, which has comparable size as a fullerene C₆₀ molecule with a single dangling bond at the bottom center. Experiments reveal that a set of 17 Ag atoms stays entrapped in the CH for the entire duration of experiment, 4 days and 7 hours. Warming up the surface to about 150 °C degrees forces the Ag atoms out of the CH within a few minutes. The processes of entrapment and diffusion are temperature dependent. Theoretical calculations based on density functional theory support the experimental results confirming the highest adsorption energy at the CH for the Ag atom, and suggest that other elements such as Li, Na, Cu, Au, F and I may display similar behavior. The capability of atomic manipulation at room temperature makes this effect particularly attractive for building single atom devices and possibly developing new engineering and nano-manufacturing methods.

Keywords:STM, Silver, Si(111)7x7, DFT
Subjects:F Physical Sciences > F100 Chemistry
Divisions:College of Science > School of Chemistry
ID Code:49935
Deposited On:27 Jun 2022 10:16

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