Mechanism for SiCl2 Formation and Desorption and the Growth of Pits in the Etching of Si(100) with Chlorine

G. A. De Wijs, A. De Vita, A. Selloni

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Abstract

A mechanism for SiCl2 formation and desorption in the etching of Si(100 - (2 × 1) at low chlorine coverages is analyzed using first-principles calculations. We find that the two monochlorinated Si atoms of a surface dimer can rearrange into a metastable SiCl2(a) adsorbed species plus a Cl-free Si atom. Desorption of SiCl2 occurs via a two-step mechanism, in which the adsorbed species is preliminarily stabilized by the diffusion away of the free Si atom. The energy barrier to form SiCl2(a) is lower on a dimer next to a dimer vacancy than in an undamaged region of the surface, consistent with recent STM observation of preferential linear growth of etch pits along dimer rows.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4877-4880
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review letters
Volume78
Issue number25
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 23 1997
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy

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