Scanning tunnelling microscopy and spectroscopy experiments complemented by first-principles calculations have been conducted to study the electronic structure of 4 monolayer Bi(110) nanoribbons on epitaxial graphene on silicon carbide . In contrast with the semimetal property of elemental bismuth, an energy gap of 0.4 eV is measured at the centre of the Bi(110) nanoribbons. Edge reconstructions, which can facilitate the edge strain energy release, are found to be responsible for the band gap opening. The calculated density of states around the Fermi level are decreased quickly to zero from the terrace edge to the middle of a Bi(110) nanoribbon potentially signifying a spatial metal-to-semiconductor transition. This study opens new avenues for room-temperature bismuth nanoribbon-based electronic devices.
- Received 16 February 2012
© 2012 American Physical Society