We investigate the atom-specific interfacial electronic properties of the epitaxial graphene on Si-terminated SiC substrate using density functional theory (DFT) calculation with van der Waals interaction correction, focusing on the dependency of the local electronic state on the chemical environment. The band structure projected on the respective atomic orbitals of the carbon atoms in the buffer layer and uppermost Si atoms demonstrates that the dangling bonds of these atoms form band structures around the Fermi level. The contribution of each atom to the dangling bond states strongly depends on the chemical environment, i.e., the presence/absence of the interlayer Si-C covalent bond. This difference also affects the atom-specific local density of states of the top-layer graphene through its interaction with the substrate/buffer layer. We demonstrate that the bias voltage dependency of the scanning tunneling spectroscopy (STS) mapping image clearly reflects the presence of the dangling bonds of the buffer layer carbon or uppermost Si atom in the substrate, which would enable the detection of the buried dangling bond with an atomic spatial resolution via STS.
- Atom-specific band structure
- Density functional calculations
- Scanning tunneling spectroscopy mapping
- Si-terminated SiC
- van der Waals interaction correction