Template-directed atomically precise self-organization of perfectly ordered parallel cerium silicide nanowire arrays on Si(110)-16 × 2 surfaces
1 Department of Electrophysics, National Chiayi University, Chiayi 60004, Taiwan
2 Institute of Optoelectronics and Solid State Electronics, National Chiayi University, Chiayi 60004, Taiwan
Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:458 doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-458Published: 5 November 2013
The perfectly ordered parallel arrays of periodic Ce silicide nanowires can self-organize with atomic precision on single-domain Si(110)-16 × 2 surfaces. The growth evolution of self-ordered parallel Ce silicide nanowire arrays is investigated over a broad range of Ce coverages on single-domain Si(110)-16 × 2 surfaces by scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). Three different types of well-ordered parallel arrays, consisting of uniformly spaced and atomically identical Ce silicide nanowires, are self-organized through the heteroepitaxial growth of Ce silicides on a long-range grating-like 16 × 2 reconstruction at the deposition of various Ce coverages. Each atomically precise Ce silicide nanowire consists of a bundle of chains and rows with different atomic structures. The atomic-resolution dual-polarity STM images reveal that the interchain coupling leads to the formation of the registry-aligned chain bundles within individual Ce silicide nanowire. The nanowire width and the interchain coupling can be adjusted systematically by varying the Ce coverage on a Si(110) surface. This natural template-directed self-organization of perfectly regular parallel nanowire arrays allows for the precise control of the feature size and positions within ±0.2 nm over a large area. Thus, it is a promising route to produce parallel nanowire arrays in a straightforward, low-cost, high-throughput process.