By combining first-principles and classical force field calculations with aberration-corrected high-resolution transmission electron microscopy experiments, we study the morphology and energetics of point and extended defects in hexagonal bilayer silica and make comparison to graphene, another two-dimensional (2D) system with hexagonal symmetry. We show that the motifs of isolated point defects in these 2D structures with otherwise very different properties are similar, and include Stone-Wales-type defects formed by structural unit rotations, flower defects and reconstructed double vacancies. The morphology and energetics of extended defects, such as grain boundaries have much in common as well. As both sp2-hybridised carbon and bilayer silica can also form amorphous structures, our results indicate that the morphology of imperfect 2D honeycomb lattices is largely governed by the underlying symmetry of the lattice.
- Condensed-matter physics
- Electronic structure
- Mechanical and structural properties and devices