Single-atom spectroscopy of phosphorus dopants implanted into graphene

Toma Susi, Trevor P Hardcastle, Hans Hofsäss, Andreas Mittelberger, Timothy Pennycook, Clemens Mangler, Rik Drummond-Brydson, Andrew J Scott, Jannik C. Meyer, Jani Kotakoski

One of the keys behind the success of modern semiconductor technology

has been the ion implantation of silicon, which allows its electronic

properties to be tailored. For similar purposes, heteroatoms have been

introduced into carbon nanomaterials both during growth and using

post-growth methods. However, due to the nature of the samples, it has

been challenging to determine whether the heteroatoms have been

incorporated into the lattice as intended. Direct observations have so

far been limited to N and B dopants, and incidental Si impurities.

Furthermore, ion implantation of these materials is challenging due to

the requirement of very low ion energies and atomically clean surfaces.

Here, we provide the first atomic-resolution imaging and electron energy

loss spectroscopy (EELS) evidence of phosphorus atoms in the graphene

lattice, implanted by low-energy ion irradiation. The measured P L 2,3-edge shows excellent agreement with an ab initio

spectrum simulation, conclusively identifying the P in a buckled

substitutional configuration. While advancing the use of EELS for

single-atom spectroscopy, our results demonstrate the viability of

phosphorus as a lattice dopant in sp 2-bonded carbon structures and provide its unmistakable fingerprint for further studies.

Physics of Nanostructured Materials
External organisation(s)
University of Leeds, SuperSTEM Laboratory, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
2D Materials
No. of pages
Publication date
Peer reviewed
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
Solid state physics
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