Phase transition on the Si(001) clean surface prepared in UHV MBE chamber: a study by high-resolution STM and in situ RHEED
A. M. Prokhorov General Physics Institute of RAS, 38 Vavilov Street, Moscow, 119991, Russia
Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:218 doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-218Published: 14 March 2011
The Si(001) surface deoxidized by short annealing at T ~ 925°C in the ultrahigh vacuum molecuar beam epitaxy chamber has been in situ investigated using high-resolution scanning tunneling microscopy (STM)and redegreesected high-energy electron diffraction (RHEED. RHEED patterns corresponding to (2 × 1) and (4 × 4) structures were observed during sample treatment. The (4 × 4) reconstruction arose at T ≲ 600°C after annealing. The reconstruction was observed to be reversible: the (4 × 4) structure turned into the (2 × 1) one at T ≳ 600°C, the (4 × 4) structure appeared again at recurring cooling. The c(8 × 8) reconstruction was revealed by STM at room temperature on the same samples. A fraction of the surface area covered by the c(8 × 8) structure decreased, as the sample cooling rate was reduced. The (2 × 1) structure was observed on the surface free of the c(8 × 8) one. The c(8 × 8) structure has been evidenced to manifest itself as the (4 × 4) one in the RHEED patterns. A model of the c(8 × 8) structure formation has been built on the basis of the STM data. Origin of the high-order structure on the Si(001) surface and its connection with the epinucleation phenomenon are discussed.