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Mechanism for SiCl2 formation and desorption and the growth of pits in the etching of Si(100) with chlorine

Published inPhysical review letters, vol. 78, no. 25, p. 4877-4880
Publication date1997

A mechanism for SiCl2 formation and desorption in the etching of Si(100)-(2×1) at low chlorine coverages is analyzed using first-principles calculations. We find that the two monochlorinated Si atoms of a surface dimer can rearrange into a metastable SiCl2(a) adsorbed species plus a Cl-free Si atom. Desorption of SiCl2 occurs via a two-step mechanism, in which the adsorbed species is preliminarily stabilized by the diffusion away of the free Si atom. The energy barrier to form SiCl2(a) is lower on a dimer next to a dimer vacancy than in an undamaged region of the surface, consistent with recent STM observation of preferential linear growth of etch pits along dimer rows.

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DE WIJS, Gilles A., DE VITA, Alessandro, SELLONI, Annabella. Mechanism for SiCl<sub>2</sub> formation and desorption and the growth of pits in the etching of Si(100) with chlorine. In: Physical review letters, 1997, vol. 78, n° 25, p. 4877–4880. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.78.4877
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ISSN of the journal0031-9007

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