Atomic and electronic structure of an epitaxial Nb2O honeycomb monolayer on Au(111)

Nb203 monolayer structure

Nb203 monolayer structure showing experimental STM and simulation DFT images of empty and filled states

Research by the Surface Nanoscience group led by Professor Castell and collaborators at the French National Center for Scientific Research as reported in in Physical Review B, presents a new structure of Nb2O3 monolayer with a honeycomb lattice. The structure is stabilized by a strong interaction between the Nb2O3 film and the Au(111) substrate. High-resolution STM images, supported by simulations, are able to discriminate between Nb atoms adsorbed in fcc or hcp hollow sites on the Au(111) substrate. This two-dimensional oxide enriches the family of oxide monolayers of M2O3 stoichiometry on metal substrates and raises the enticing prospect of the creation of mixed cation AxB2-xO3 (0 ⩽ x ⩽ 2) honeycomb structures.