Islands and holes as measures of mass balance in growth of the (√3×√3)R30° phase of Ag on Si(111)

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2010-01-01
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Belianinov, Alex
Ünal, Barış
Lu, Ning
Ji, Min
Ho, Kai-Ming
Wang, Cai-Zhuang
Tringides, Michael
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Chemistry

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It is well known that conversion of Si(111)-(7×7) into the (√3×√3)R30° phase of adsorbed Ag requires a change in the Si density, and causes formation of islands and holes at the surface. By mass balance, the ratio of areas of islands and holes (RIH) should be approximately 1. However, we find that the ratio is significantly higher, depending on preparation conditions. A possible explanation would be that there are different types of (√3×√3)R30° structures. However, neither scanning tunneling microscopy nor density-functional theory (implemented as a genetic algorithm search) supports this explanation. We propose that the edges of the islands contain excess Ag which becomes available to expand the holes, when the island perimeter decreases. Under certain conditions, excess Ag is also made available by dissolution of small islands that are Ag rich.

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This article is from Physical Review B 82, no. 24 (2010): 245413, doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.82.245413.

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Fri Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2010
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