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Prediction of Two-Dimensional Phase of Boron with Anisotropic Electric Conductivity


Two-dimensional (2D) phases of boron are rare and unique. Here we report a new 2D all-boron phase (named the π phase) that can be grown on a W(110) surface. The π phase, composed of four-membered rings and six-membered rings filled with an additional B atom, is predicted to be the most stable on this support. It is characterized by an outstanding stability upon exfoliation off of the W surface, and unusual electronic properties. The chemical bonding analysis reveals the metallic nature of this material, which can be attributed to the multicentered π-bonds. Importantly, the calculated conductivity tensor is anisotropic, showing larger conductivity in the direction of the sheet that is in-line with the conjugated π-bonds, and diminished in the direction where the π-subsystems are connected by single σ-bonds. The π-phase can be viewed as an ultrastable web of aligned conducting boron wires, possibly of interest to applications in electronic devices.

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