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Homogeneous crystalline FeSi2 films of c (4 × 8) phase grown on Si (111) by reactive deposition epitaxy

Zhi-Qiang Zou12*, Li-Min Sun1*, Gao-Ming Shi1, Xiao-Yong Liu12 and Xu Li1

Author Affiliations

1 Center for Analysis and Testing, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 800 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai 200240, China

2 Department of Physics, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 800 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai 200240, China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:510  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-510

Published: 5 December 2013


The growth of iron silicides on Si (111) using reactive deposition epitaxy method was studied by scanning tunneling microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Instead of the mixture of different silicide phases, a homogeneous crystalline film of c (4 × 8) phase was formed on the Si (111) surface at approximately 750°C. Scanning tunneling spectra show that the film exhibits a semiconducting character with a band gap of approximately 0.85 eV. Compared with elemental Fe, the Fe 2p peaks of the film exhibit a lower spin-orbit splitting (−0.3 eV) and the Fe 2p3/2 level has a smaller full-width at half maximum (−0.6 eV) and a higher binding energy (+0.3 eV). Quantitative XPS analysis shows that the c (4 × 8) phase is in the FeSi2 stoichiometry regime. The c (4 × 8) pattern could result from the ordered arrangement of defects of Fe vacancies in the buried Fe layers.

Iron silicides; Reactive deposition epitaxy; Thin films; Scanning tunneling spectroscopy; X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy