Demands on high-quality layer structured two-dimensional (2D) thin films such as pnictogen chalcogenides and transition metal dichalcogenides are growing due to the findings of exotic physical properties and potentials for device applications. However, the difficulties in controlling epitaxial growth and the unclear understanding of van der Waals epitaxy (vdWE) for a 2D chalcogenide film on a three-dimensional (3D) substrate have been major obstacles for the further advances of 2D materials. Here, we exploit the spontaneous vdWE of a high-quality 2D chalcogenide (Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3) film by the chalcogen-driven surface reconstruction of a conventional 3D sapphire substrate. It is verified that the in situ formation of a pseudomorphic Te atomic monolayer on the surface of sapphire, which results in a dangling bond-free surface, allows the spontaneous vdWE of 2D chalcogenide film. Since this route uses the natural surface reconstruction of sapphire with chalcogen under vacuum condition, it can be scalable and easily utilized for the developments of various 2D chalcogenide vdWE films through conventional thin-film fabrication technologies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanical Engineering