KCl ultra-thin films with polar and non-polar surfaces grown on Si(111)7x7

Abstract : The growth of ultra-thin KCl films on the Si(111)7 3 7 reconstructed surface has been investigated as a function of KCl coverage and substrate temperature. The structure and morphology of the films were characterized by means of scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) under ultra-high vacuum (UHV) conditions. Detailed analysis of the atomically resolved STM images of islands grown at room and high temperatures (400 K–430 K) revealed the presence of KCl(001) and KCl(111) islands with the ratio between both structures depending on the growth temperature. At room temperature, the growth of the first layer, which covers the initial Si(111)7 3 7 surface, contains double/triple atomic layers of KCl(001) with a small fraction of KCl(111) islands. The high temperature growth promotes the appearance of large KCl(111) areas, which are built up by three atomic layers. At room and high temperatures, flat and atomically well-defined ultra-thin KCl films can be grown on the Si(111)7 3 7 substrate. The formation of the above mentioned (111) polar films is interpreted as a result of the thermally activated dissociative adsorption of KCl molecules on Si(111)7 3 7, which produces an excess of potassium on the Si surface.
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Igor Beinik, Clemens Barth, Margrit Hanbücken, Laurence Masson. KCl ultra-thin films with polar and non-polar surfaces grown on Si(111)7x7. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2015, 5 (8223), ⟨10.1038/srep08223⟩. ⟨hal-01226812⟩

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