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2D honeycomb transformation into dodecagonal quasicrystals driven by electrostatic forces



Sebastian Schenk, Oliver Krahn, Eric J. Cockayne, Holger Meyerheim, Marc de Boissieu, Stefan Foerster, Wolf Widdra


Dodecagonal oxide quasicrystals are well established as examples of long range aperiodic order in two dimensions. However, despite investigations by scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), low-energy electron diffraction (LEED), low-energy electron microscopy (LEEM), photoemission spectroscopy as well as density functional theory (DFT), their structure is still controversial. Furthermore, the principles that guide the formation of quasicrystals (QCs) in oxides are elusive since the principles that are known to drive metallic QCs are expected to fail for oxides. Here we demonstrate the solution of the oxide QC structure by synchrotron-radiation based surface x-ray diffraction (SXRD) refinement of its largest-known approximant. The oxide QC formation is forced by large alkaline earth metal atoms and the reduction of their mutual electrostatic repulsion. It drives the n = 6 structure of the 2D Ti2O3 honeycomb arrangement via Stone–Wales transformations into an ordered structure with empty n = 4, singly occupied n = 7 and doubly occupied n = 10 rings, as supported by DFT.
Nature Communications


quasicrystals, two-dimensional oxides, two-dimensional crystals, strontium titanate


Schenk, S. , Krahn, O. , Cockayne, E. , Meyerheim, H. , de Boissieu, M. , Foerster, S. and Widdra, W. (2022), 2D honeycomb transformation into dodecagonal quasicrystals driven by electrostatic forces, Nature Communications, [online],, (Accessed May 24, 2024)


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Created December 7, 2022, Updated January 3, 2023