Work Function Engineering of Thin α-RuCl3 by Argon Sputtering

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



α-RuCl 3 is a candidate material for the realization of a Kitaev spin liquid with envisioned applications for quantum computing. It is a van-der-Waals material with in-plane honeycomb lattice equivalent to the CrX 3 (X= Cl, Br, I) type 2D magnets. Here, possibilities of defect engineering and surface modification of thin crystals are explored by Ar + dosing and vacuum annealing. Chlorine is easily removed from the surface, which reduces the Ru valence and eventually leaves a Ru rich surface layer behind. A peculiar thickness dependence of the work function emerges after Ar + sputtering, which is ascribed to the remaining chlorine concentration. This work elucidates material properties of thin α-RuCl 3 and introduces concepts of property engineering to create homojunctions and control level alignment by standard in situ methods.


Original languageEnglish
Article number2200754
Number of pages6
JournalAdvanced materials interfaces
Issue number29
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2022

External IDs

Scopus 85137456653
ORCID /0000-0001-7523-9313/work/142238678


DFG Classification of Subject Areas according to Review Boards

Subject groups, research areas, subject areas according to Destatis


  • 2D materials, photoemission spectroscopy, α-RuCl