Metastable structural surface excitations and concerted adatom motions: a STM study of atomic motions within a semiconductor surface

Jene Golovchenko, Hwang Ing-Shouh, Eric Ganz, Silva K. Theiss

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Knowledge about atomic scale motions is essential to the understanding of dynamical phenomena on surfaces, such as diffusion, phase transitions, and epitaxial growth. We demonstrate that the addition of a very small number of Pb atoms to a Ge(111) surface reduces the energy barrier for activated processes, thus allowing one to observe concerted atomic motions and metastable structures on this surface near room temperature using a tunneling microscope. The activation energy for surface diffusion of isolated substitutional Pb atoms in Ge(111)-c(2×8) was measured by observing individual atomic interchanges from 24°C to 79°C. We also observed the formation and annihilation of metastable structural surface excitations, which are associated with large numbers of germanium surface atoms in one row of the c(2×8) reconstruction shifting along that row like beads on an abacus. The effect provides a new mechanism for atomic transport on semiconductor surfaces and can explain a number of other observed phenomena associated with Ge(111) surfaces, including the surface diffusion of Pb atoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMaterials Research Society Symposium Proceedings
PublisherPubl by Materials Research Society
Pages41-48
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)1558991905
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993
EventSymposium on Atomic-scale Imaging of Surfaces and Interfaces -
Duration: Nov 30 1992Dec 2 1992

Publication series

NameMaterials Research Society Symposium Proceedings
Volume295
ISSN (Print)0272-9172

Other

OtherSymposium on Atomic-scale Imaging of Surfaces and Interfaces
Period11/30/9212/2/92

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Metastable structural surface excitations and concerted adatom motions: a STM study of atomic motions within a semiconductor surface'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this