STM characterization of the Si-P heterodimer

N. J. Curson, S. R. Schofield, M. Y. Simmons, L. Oberbeck, J. L. O'Brien, R. G. Clark

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We use scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and Auger electron spectroscopy to study the behavior of adsorbed phosphine (PH3) on Si(001), as a function of annealing temperature, paying particular attention to the formation of the Si-P heterodimer. Dosing the Si(001) surface with ∼0.002 langmuirs of PH3 results in the adsorption of PHx (x=2,3) onto the surface and etching of Si to form individual Si ad-dimers. Annealing to 350 °C results in the incorporation of P into the surface layer to form Si-P heterodimers and the formation of short one-dimensional Si dimer chains and monohydrides. In filled state STM images, isolated Si-P heterodimers appear as zigzag features on the surface due to the static dimer buckling induced by the heterodimer. In the presence of a moderate coverage of monohydrides this static buckling is lifted, rending the Si-P heterodimers invisible in filled state images. However, we find that we can image the heterodimer at all H coverages using empty state imaging. The ability to identify single P atoms incorporated into Si(001) will be invaluable in the development of nanoscale electronic devices based on controlled atomic-scale doping of Si.

Original languageEnglish
Article number195303
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - May 2004
Externally publishedYes


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