The carbonization process of a preferential-domain Si(001)2×1 surface with ethylene was investigated by a combined method of reflection high-energy electron diffraction and Auger electron spectroscopy. It is found that the carbonization process during the so-called incubation time is the Si1-xCx alloy formation before the nucleation of 3C-SiC grains. A reaction model for the Si1-xCx alloy formation and for the 3C-SiC grain growth is proposed for substrate temperatures of 600-750°C. From the model, we postulate that the external supply of Si and C should be started just at the completion of the lateral 3C-SiC grain growth at temperatures of 600-650°C in order to obtain thick 3C-SiC layers with a flat surface morphology.
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