Synthesis of Multilayer Silicene on Si(111)√3 x √3-Ag
The compelling experimental evidence of multilayer silicene synthesis on one monolayer of silver deposited on a silicon substrate, Si(111)√3 x √3-Ag, used as a template is reported. Auger electron spectroscopy, low-energy electron diffraction, scanning tunneling microscopy/spectroscopy, in situ Raman spectroscopy, and energy-dispersive in-plane X-ray diffraction were applied to achieve the fingerprints of √3 x √3 multilayer silicene. Density functional theory calculations provided the structural models of single, bilayer, and three-layer silicene on the Si(111)√3 x √3-Ag surface. Single-layer silicene retains its free-standing form. The structural models, which are consistent with the experimental findings, feature atomic structure substantially different from that of Si(111).