Scanning tunneling microscopy studies of etching of Si(100)−(2×1) show that the rate of terrace pit formation goes through a maximum for surface coverages of θ(Cl)=0.77±0.05monolayer, in contrast to predictions of conventional models. Using recently calculated energies for different possible surface configurations, we show that a key component in desorption is the formation of a single-atom vacancy adjacent to a volatile SiCl2 unit. The demonstration of vacancy-assisted reaction establishes a self-limited reaction and the sequence of events leading to desorption.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)