We present a method for the formation of an epitaxial surface layer involving B, N, and Si atoms on a ZrB2(0001) thin film on Si(111). It has the potential to be an insulating growth template for 2D semiconductors. The chemical reaction of NH3 molecules with the silicene-terminated ZrB2 surface was characterized by synchrotron-based, high-resolution core-level photoelectron spectroscopy and low-energy electron diffraction. In particular, the dissociative chemisorption of NH3 at 400 °C leads to surface nitridation, and subsequent annealing up to 830 °C results in a solid phase reaction with the ZrB2 subsurface layers. In this way, a new nitride-based epitaxial surface layer is formed with hexagonal symmetry and a single in-plane crystal orientation.
- Semiconductor surfaces
- Insulator surfaces