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Silicide induced ion beam patterning of Si(001)

Engler, M.; Frost, F.; Müller, S.; Macko, S.; Will, M.; Feder, R.; Spemann, D.; Hübner, R.; Facsko, S.; Michely, T.


Low energy ion beam pattern formation on Si with simultaneous co- deposition of Ag, Pd, Pb, Ir, Fe or C impurities was investigated by in-situ scanning tunneling microscopy as well as ex-situ atomic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and Rutherford backscattering spectrometry. The impurities were supplied by sputter deposition. Additional insight into the mechanism of pattern formation was obtained by more controlled supply through e-beam evaporation. For the situations investigated, the ability of the impurity to react with Si, i.e. to form a silicide, appears to be a necessary, but not a sufficient condition for pattern formation. Comparing the effects of impurities with similar mass and nuclear charge the collision kinetics is shown to be not of primary importance for pattern formation. To understand the observed phenomena, it is necessary to assume a bi-directional coupling of composition and height fluctuations. This coupling gives rise to a sensitive dependence of the final morphology on the conditions of impurity supply. Because of this history dependence the final morphology cannot be uniquely characterized by a steady state impurity concentration.

Keywords: ion irradiation; pattern formation; silides

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