An AFM study of the processing of hydrogen passivated silicon(1 1 1) of a low miscut angle

MacLaren, D.A. , Curson, N.J., Atkinson, P. and Allison, W. (2001) An AFM study of the processing of hydrogen passivated silicon(1 1 1) of a low miscut angle. Surface Science, 490(3), pp. 285-295. (doi: 10.1016/S0039-6028(01)01331-0)

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We present atomic force microscopy (AFM) measurements from a passivated silicon crystal miscut by 0.1° and show the etching regime to be significantly different from surfaces with a larger miscut angle. A simple kinetic model is developed to explain the results and is used to derive the optimal etching conditions for nominally flat Si(1 1 1)–(1×1)H. We show that small changes in miscut angle can alter the kinetic steady state and promote the formation of deep etch pits, even on the least stable, miscut surface. Collisions of steps with these pits result in arrays of stable, self-aligned ‘etch hillocks' over micron dimensions. Following preparation, we use AFM to observe the initial growth of native oxide on the Si(1 1 1)–(1×1)H surface, and demonstrate that AFM is a sensitive probe to surface oxidation in the sub-monolayer regime.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Atomic force microscopy; Models of surface chemical reactions; Etching; Step formation and bunching; Silicon; Hydrides; Vicinal single crystal surfaces
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:MacLaren, Dr Donald
Authors: MacLaren, D.A., Curson, N.J., Atkinson, P., and Allison, W.
Subjects:Q Science > QC Physics
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
University Centres > Glasgow Materials Research Initiative
Journal Name:Surface Science
ISSN (Online):1879-2758
Published Online:29 August 2001

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