Anisotropic Two-Dimensional Screening at the Surface of Black Phosphorus

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  • Brian Kiraly, Radboud University Nijmegen
  • ,
  • Elze J. Knol, Radboud University Nijmegen
  • ,
  • Klara Volckaert
  • Deepnarayan Biswas
  • Alexander N. Rudenko, Radboud University Nijmegen, Wuhan University, Ural Federal University
  • ,
  • Danil A. Prishchenko, Ural Federal University
  • ,
  • Vladimir G. Mazurenko, Ural Federal University
  • ,
  • Mikhail I. Katsnelson, Radboud University Nijmegen, Ural Federal University
  • ,
  • Philip Hofmann
  • Daniel Wegner, Radboud University Nijmegen
  • ,
  • Alexander A. Khajetoorians, Radboud University Nijmegen

Electronic screening can have direct consequences for structural arrangements on the nanoscale, such as on the periodic ordering of adatoms on a surface. So far, such ordering phenomena have been explained in terms of isotropic screening of free electronlike systems. Here, we directly illustrate the structural consequences of anisotropic screening, making use of a highly anisotropic two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG) near the surface of black phosphorous. The presence of the 2DEG and its filling is controlled by adsorbed potassium atoms, which simultaneously serve to probe the electronic ordering. Using scanning tunneling microscopy, we show that the anisotropic screening leads to the formation of potassium chains with a well-defined orientation and spacing. We quantify the mean interaction potential utilizing statistical methods and find that the dimensionality and anisotropy of the screening is consistent with the presence of a band bending-induced 2DEG near the surface. The electronic dispersion of the 2DEG inferred by electronic ordering is consistent with that measured by angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number216403
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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