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Interaction of Ge with single layer GaAs: From Ge-island nucleation to formation of novel stable monolayers
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In this study, reactivity of single-layer GaAs against Ge atoms is studied by means of ab initio density functional theory calculations. Firstly, it is shown that Ge atoms interact quite strongly with the GaAs layer which allows the formation of Ge islands while it hinders the growth of detached germanene monolayers. It is also predicted that adsorption of Ge atoms on GaAs single-layer lead to formation of two novel stable single-layer crystal structures, namely 1H-GaGeAs and 1H(A)-GaGeAs. Both the total energy optimizations and the calculated vibrational spectra indicate the dynamical stability of both single layer structures. Moreover, although both structures crystallize in 1H phase, 1H-GaGeAs and 1H(A)-GaGeAs exhibit distinctive vibrational features in their Raman spectra which is quite important for distinguishing the structures. In contrast to the semiconducting nature of single-layer GaAs, both polytypes of GaGeAs exhibit metallic behavior confirmed by the electronic band dispersions. Furthermore, the linear-elastic constants, in-plane stiffness and Poisson ratio, reveal the ultrasoft nature of the GaAs and GaGeAs structures and the rigidity of GaAs is found to be slightly enhanced via Ge adsorption. With their stable, ultra-thin and metallic properties, predicted single-layer GaGeAs structures can be promising candidates for nanoscale electronic and mechanical applications.