Ring State for Single Transition Metal Atoms on Boron Nitride on Rh(111)
The low-temperature adsorption of isolated transition metal adatoms (Mn, Co, and Fe) onto hexagonal boron nitride monolayers on Rh(111) creates a bistable adsorption complex. The first state considerably weakens the hexagonal boron nitride- (h-BN-) substrate bond for 60 BN unit cells, leading to a highly symmetric ring in STM images, while the second state is imaged as a conventional adatom and leaves the BN-substrate interaction intact. We demonstrate reversible switching between the two states and, thus, controlled pinning and unpinning of the h-BN layer from the metal substrate. I(z) and d ln(l)/dz curves are used to reveal the BN deformation in the ring state.