Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jose Coutinho,
Dr Mark Rayson,
Professor Patrick Briddon
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Triple steps on Si(111) surfaces are popular building blocks for bottom-up nanostructure assembly, conferring size uniformity and precise positioning of growing nanostructures. In this work, we employ the Si(7 7 10) regular stepped surface as model system to study the triple steps by scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and large-scale first-principles calculations. We find a surprising cohabitation of reconstruction elements at the step edge that either buckles statically or dynamically at room temperature. The driving force for the observed sequence of buckling patterns is traced back to Coulomb interactions involving charged adatoms and rest-atoms lying on a miniterrace. These results reconcile the Si(111) triple step model with the experimental STM data. (C) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.
Author(s): Zhachuk R, Teys S, Coutinho J, Rayson MJ, Briddon PR
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Applied Physics Letters
Print publication date: 27/10/2014
Online publication date: 29/10/2014
Acceptance date: 19/10/2014
ISSN (print): 0003-6951
ISSN (electronic): 1077-3118
Publisher: American Institute of Physics
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