The nucleation and initial growth of iron silicide on Si(113), Si(5 5 12) and Si(114) is studied using high temperature STM. During MBE and gas source deposition (precursor Fe(CO)5 STM-“movies” at temperatures up to 600°C directly show the kinetics of silicide formation on the surface. A complete 2D-wetting layer is formed on all vicinal surfaces for temperatures below 510°C. A chain-like silicide structure with a mixture of different periodicities (4×n), with n ranging from 2-6, is found. Above one monolayer growth proceeds with anisotropic 3D-silicide-islands. The wetting layer was found to be only metastable at lower growth temperature. At temperatures above 510°C the 2D-silicide layer does not wet the substrate anymore. In the equilibrium growth mode, 3D-islands directly grow on the bare Si-substrate. The anisotropy of the 3D-islands is extremly temperature dependent resulting in an aspect ratio up to 50 at 600°C. Especially on Si(114) a one-dimensionally nanostructured silicide layer can be grown in this way. A lateral spreading of the 3D-islands forming an interconnected silicide layer is achieved on Si(113) by a stochiometric codeposition of Fe and Si.
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Kneppe, M., Kot, E., Dorna, V. et al. A High-Temperature STM-Study of Iron Silicide Formation on High Index Silicon Surfaces. MRS Online Proceedings Library 648, 102 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-648-P10.2