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Formation of pyramid-like nanostructures in MBE-grown Si films on Si(001)

Formation of pyramid-like nanostructures in MBE-grown Si films on Si(001),10.1007/s00339-010-5974-8,Applied Physics A-materials Science & Processing,N

Formation of pyramid-like nanostructures in MBE-grown Si films on Si(001)  
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The growth of Si homoepitaxial layers on Si(001) substrates by molecular beam epitaxy is analyzed for a set of growth conditions in which diverse nanometer-scale features develop. Using Si substrates prepared by exposure to HF vapor and annealing in ultra-high vacuum, a rich variety of surface morphologies is found for different deposited layer thicknesses and substrate temperatures in a reproducible way, showing a critical dependence on both. Arrays of 3D islands (truncated pyramids), percolated ridge networks, and square pit (inverted pyramid) distributions are observed. We analyze the obtained arrangements and find remarkable similarities to other semiconductor though heteroepitaxial systems. The nanoscale entities (islands or pits) display certain self assembly and ordering, concerning size, shape, and spacing. Film growth sequence follows the ‘islands–coalescence–2D growth’ pathway, eventually leading to optimum flat morphologies for high enough thickness and temperature.
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