We directly visualize the three-dimensional (3D) geometry and dynamics of silicon impurities in graphene as well as their dynamics by aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy. By acquiring images when the sample is tilted, we show that an asymmetry of the atomic position of the heteroatom in the projection reveals the non-planarity of the structure. From a sequence of images, we further demonstrate that the Si atom switches between up- and down- configurations with respect to the graphene plane, with an asymmetric cross-section. We further analyze the 3D structure and dynamics of a silicon tetramer in graphene. Our results clarify the out-of-plane structure of impurities in graphene by direct experimental observation and open a route to study their dynamics in three dimensions.
Direct visualization of the 3D structure of silicon impurities in graphene
Christoph Hofer, Viera Skakalova, Mohammad R. A. Monazam, Clemens Mangler, Jani Kotakoski, Toma Susi, Jannik C. Meyer; Direct visualization of the 3D structure of silicon impurities in graphene. Appl. Phys. Lett. 4 February 2019; 114 (5): 053102. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5063449
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