Atomic steps on an ultraflat Si(111) surface upon sublimation

S. V. Sitnikov, A. V. Latyshev, S. S. Kosolobov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The kinetics of atomic steps on an ultraflat Si(111) surface is studied by in situ ultrahigh-vacuum reflection electron microscopy at temperatures of 1050–1350°C. For the first time it is experimentally shown that the rate of displacement of an atomic step during sublimation nonlinearly depends on the width of the adjacent terrace. It is established that the atomic mechanism of mass-transport processes at the surface at temperatures higher than 1200°C is controlled by nucleation and the diffusion of surface vacancies rather than of adsorbed Si atoms. The studies make it possible to estimate the activation energy of the dissolution of vacancies from the surface into the bulk of Si. The estimated activation energy is (4.3 ± 0.05) eV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)596-600
Number of pages5
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016
Externally publishedYes


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