Phase transformation in self-assembled Gd silicide nanostructures on Si(001)


Gd silicide nanostructures epitaxially grown on Si(001) are studied by plan-view transmission electron microscopy and associated nanobeam electron diffraction, as well as scanning tunneling microscopy. The nanobeam diffraction measurements show a direct correlation between the nanostructure morphology, either nanowires or islands, and the silicide crystal structure. Scanning tunneling microscopy shows a phase transformation from nanowires to islands that nucleate at nanowire intersections. A specific mechanism for this transformation is proposed that explains nanowire growth behavior previously observed on vicinal Si surfaces.

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This work was supported by the NSF through Grant No. DMR-0305472. The JEOL 2200FS TEM was acquired in part by funds from NSF Grant No. DMR-0079578. Jun Nogami acknowledges support from the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Canada.

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Correspondence to Gangfeng Ye.

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Ye, G., Crimp, M.A. & Nogami, J. Phase transformation in self-assembled Gd silicide nanostructures on Si(001). Journal of Materials Research 26, 2276–2281 (2011).

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