Molecular beam epitaxy of PtSe2using a co-deposition approach

Maria Hilse, Ke Wang, Roman Engel-Herbert

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The structural properties of co-deposited ultrathin PtSe2 films grown at low temperatures by molecular beam epitaxy on c-plane Al2O3 are studied. By simultaneously supplying a Se flux from a Knudsen cell and Pt atoms from an electron-beam evaporator, crystalline (001)-oriented PtSe2 films were formed between 200 °C and 300 °C. The long separation between substrate and electron beam evaporator of about 60 cm ensured minimal thermal load. At optimum deposition temperatures, a ten times or even higher supply rate of Se compared to Pt ensured that the pronounced volatility of the Se was compensated and the PtSe2 phase was formed and stabilized at the growth front. Postgrowth anneals under a Se flux was found to dramatically improve the crystalline quality of the films. Even before the postgrowth anneal in Se, the crystallinity of PtSe2 films grown with the co-deposition method was superior to films realized by thermal assisted conversion. Postgrowth annealed films showed Raman modes with narrower peaks and more than twice the intensity. Transmission electron microscopy investigations revealed that the deposited material transitioned to a two-dimensional layered structure only after the postgrowth anneal. PtSe2 growth was found to start as single layer islands that preferentially nucleated at atomic steps of the substrate and progressed in a layer-by-layer like fashion. A close to ideal wetting behavior resulted in coalesced PtSe2 films after depositing about 1.5 PtSe2 layers. Detailed Raman investigation of the observed PtSe2 layer breathing modes of films grown under optimized co-deposition conditions revealed an interlayer coupling force constant of 5.0-5.6 × 1019 N m-3.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number025029
Journal2D Materials
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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