Atomic-layer surface reaction of chlorine on Si and Ge assisted by an ultraclean ECR plasma

T. Matsuura, T. Sugiyama, J. Murota

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15 Citations (Scopus)


Atomic-layer surface adsorption and reaction of chlorine on Si(100) and Ge(100) as well as Si0.5Ge0.5(100) assisted by low-energy Ar+ ion irradiation were investigated using an ultraclean ECR plasma system with surface analysis by XPS and FTIR/RAS. Hydrogen termination on Si and Ge prepared by HF-treatment or annealing in H2 was removed by Ar+ ion irradiation, and that on Ge was removed, while not on Si, only by the chlorine molecular supply. By repeating alternate chlorine molecular supply (≳0.02 Pa · s) and Ar+ ion irradiation (∼4 × 1015 cm-2), atomic-layer etching of Si, Ge, and Si0.5Ge0.5 was observed with a saturated etch rate per cycle of 1/4 atomic-layer thickness. When Ar+ ion irradiation was increased further under a condition of saturated chlorine molecular adsorption, the etch rate per cycle tended to increase with Ar+ ion irradiation up to a saturation value of the single atomic-layer thickness. The Ge atoms indicated a higher reactivity than the Si atoms in the atomic-layer etching.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-205
Number of pages4
JournalSurface Science
Publication statusPublished - 1998 May 15
Externally publishedYes


  • Atom-solid reactions
  • Electron bombardment
  • Germanium
  • Halogens
  • Ion etching
  • Plasma processing
  • Silicon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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